NASCAR notes: Danica explains losing temper at booing fan – Florida Times-Union

Danica Patrick says she “had a moment” when she lost her temper at a booing fan after qualifying for last week’s NASCAR race.

She says she knows the smarter thing to do would have been to “just keep walking.”

“But every now and again they just catch you in a moment, and I had a moment,” Patrick says.

In a video that went viral, Patrick stormed over to the fan and said: “I’m a person, too. I have feelings. When you boo me, it hurts my feelings.”

The 35-year-old driver said during a promotional tour of Boston on Wednesday that she decided not to sign autographs for a fan at the Poconos track who had gone through a security cordon.

She says she “didn’t feel it was right to honor that person for disrespecting the security guard.”

Keselowski questions rule

Brad Keselowski is questioning the intent of NASCAR’s rules for mistakes made on pit road.

Keselowski owns the No. 29 Ford in the Camping World Truck Series. When rookie Chase Briscoe left his pit stall following a stop new tires at the Dover International Speedway, the right-front tire fell off.

The team said a malfunctioning air gun kept tire changer Wesley McPherson from attaching any of the lug nuts. Although the team ordered him over the two-way radio to stop, the wheel fell off.

Citing its rules for improperly installed wheels, NASCAR suspended McPherson, crew chief Mike Hillman Jr. and tire carrier Eric Pinkiert for four races.

“The intent of the rule was to make sure guys don’t put three lug nuts on and have a wheel come off and say, ‘Awe, too bad’. That isn’t what happened in the scenario we had,” Keselowski said.

“It’s the difference between murder and manslaughter. Intent matters.”

The sanctions against his team also hinder his ability to train younger drivers and crewmen. He uses his truck team to cultivate the next generation of racing talent, and it makes him rethink not using experienced Cup series crews to avoid mistakes.

“What I’m looking for out of that endeavor and that series is to develop people and give back to the sport,” Keselowski said. “It’s not really giving back to the sport if I put a Cup driver in or hire a Cup pit crew. That’s really not giving back to the sport at all.

“But on the flip side when you have issues like we had, which is a pit crew that is still developing and inexperienced…they made a mistake.”

Team’s 21st winner

Wood Brothers Racing started in NASCAR in 1953, and they’ve paved the way for a lot of drivers to launch successful careers.

Ryan Blaney’s victory last Sunday at the Pocono Raceway was the 99th overall for the legendary team. And in the process, Blaney became the 21st different driver to win in a Wood Brothers Racing car.

“Every win you get is very, very special, and especially when you get like Ryan’s first win, and we’ve had a number of kids that come through our car that won their first race in our car,” co-owner Eddie Wood said. “Dale Jarrett did, Kyle [Petty] did.”

Tiny Lund, Elliott Sadler and Trevor Bayne also won their first NASCAR race with the Wood Brothers.

Added with Ricky Stenhouse Jr.’s win at Talladega and Austin Dillon’s win at Charlotte, Blaney became the third first-time Cup winner in the last five races.

Pit stops

Lawyers weren’t able to reach a settlement last week during a mediation session in the wrongful death lawsuit filed by Kevin Ward Jr.’s family and former NASCAR driver Tony Stewart. Ward’s family is suing Stewart after he struck and killed Ward during a sprint car race in Canandaigua, N.Y., in 2014. Ward ran from his crashed car onto the track before he was hit. Lawyers now will ask for a summary judgment on June 23 … Aric Almirola may be back in the driver’s seat sooner than expected following his fiery crash May 13 at the Kansas Speedway. Almirola suffered a crushed vertebra after striking the crashed cars of Danica Patrick and Joey Logano. Almirola originally was expected to miss as many as six races, but he said a recent scan suggests he could return as soon as July 8.


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