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Indy Racing League Media Conference

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Open Wheel Racing Topics:  Indy Racing League, Herbie: Fully Loaded

Indy Racing League Media Conference

Danica Patrick
June 10, 2005


BRENT MAURER: Before we open up with Danica, we do want to take this opportunity to announce that Rahal Letterman Racing has forged a promotional partnership with Walt Disney Company that for the next two races the Herbie: Fully Loaded logo, for the upcoming movie, will be on the car. Danica will be attending the world premier of the Herbie movie this coming Sunday in Los Angeles. Her No. 16 Argent Pioneer car will also be with her for that. We're excited to be in this partnership with Walt Disney. I think it's a good example of the non-traditional marketing opportunities that exist in the IndyCar Series.

Q. Are the other drivers treating you fairly on the track?

DANICA PATRICK: Yes. Absolutely. I think that at the level that we're at we all respect each other to a certain extent. It takes a lot to just get here. We know each other's credentials, and we've learned each others styles. We're more racing each others' styles than we are who it is or what they are. I would agree with that.

Q. Was there a moment for you when you went from being a race car driver to a one-name celebrity?

DANICA PATRICK: No. When we were kind of developing this Danica brand or decided we needed to start somewhere with me and the marketing side of me, Bobby (Rahal) and I sat down, and I have a unique enough name that it should be kind of first name I guess. Just start with Danica and go with it. We started there, and that's all I can tell you. I don't feel any different. I'd have to say that the cover of Sports Illustrated is sure going to do some good, and a lot of people are interested in that. I've heard that in most all racing markets they're sold out of it. That's pretty flattering. But, no there was not a certain point. I guess Sports Illustrated would have had been the most defining point.

Q. Going back to the very first of May in Indianapolis it seems like everything that's happened throughout this you have been unflappable on the racetrack, with the media, everywhere, and just not perturbed by anything. It's almost as if you've known all of your life this is where you've been headed, and now it's just time to execute it. Is that somewhat the way it is for you?

DANICA PATRICK: Would I sound cocky if I said yes? I would never say it to anyone. I guess you never know what's going to happen, and I never knew what was going to happen. All I knew was that best case scenario is that it would, it would be big news, and it would have an impact, it would help the series, and it would inspire young kids and girls and be a really great story. So I guess to a certain extent maybe you're right. Maybe you've hit it on the head. Maybe that's why I feel good with myself. It's a big deal, but I don't think it's something I'm going to overanalyze and say, "Wow, I'm in the newspapers everyday, and I made Us Weekly." I think that it's just kind of a story right now, and it's something that people are curious about and interested in and excited to see how it unfolds, and 'Can I repeat and repeat?', 'When am I going to win a race?' so it's very hard for me to answer it, because I don't feel any different.

Q. There were people milling around you all day yesterday, taking pictures, does it get to at all, do you sit there and say 'OK, that's enough.'

DANICA PATRICK: "There's occasions when a boom will come underneath my legs and I'll be like, "Hey," and take my hand and move it, you know, just a little respect here. I'm trying to have a little conversation with people at the end of the day and there's a boom in my face, you know, to a certain extent. I also don't look around too much. Obviously I can kind of peripherly tell when I'm looking like this that there are people around, but I'm not trying to take it in, and I don't know if that's bad. I just think that I need to stay focused on what I'm doing, and I think I do understand that it can go away so fast too. And I don't want to get used to it. I don't want to feel like that's what defines me is how many people are around me, so I try to ignore it.

Q. So Danica you didn't notice the cameras following you to the Port-a-john?

DANICA PATRICK: Honestly, not really. I went to the bathroom and I thought, 'If there is a group of people waiting outside this port-a-potty when I get outside it's going to be so uncomfortable and I'm just going to have to ask them, 'Did you all just follow me to the bathroom?' Which I've asked plenty of people before. That and interrupting me when I'm eating are the two things that are my pet peeves. But, not really.

Q. Can you describe the last week and a half since the race, is it a little unbelievable?

DANICA PATRICK: I'm not trying to overanalyze it, I'm not trying to read every article, I'm not reading the gossip pages as much as I could. So it's not unbelievable. I think it's a good story. It is historic. Things that are going on, I guess, are points in history that will be remembered. To a certain extent I guess I have to understand and accept what's going on, and I do, and I understand why I'm a story I guess. And over the last week, my fiancée had a birthday on Saturday. We took a trip for a couple of days, a surprise trip. I got him in the car and I gave him the flight itinerary right before we got to the airport, and he was all confused, didn't know where the heck we were going, was delirious, it was 5 a.m., and we went on vacation three or four days. That's what I did after Indy. And I organized a big birthday dinner for him right before we left. So I was kind of busy with all that, so I wasn't really doing anything else, answering some e-mails.

Q. Looking ahead to the race, this is a tough track, it's wheel-to-wheel a good portion of the race, it has been in the past anyway. How do you prepare yourself for that, talk to your teammates, and is this going to be a harder race in some ways than Indy?

DANICA PATRICK: Probably because I haven't been here before. At Indy we had an enormous amount of track time so you were able to get comfortable and familiar, which is why I probably feel like I'm not, 'Where am I?' going down the backstraight. It's going to be a lot of side-by-side racing, so I guess in a way it might be harder than Indy. The practices this afternoon and evening are going to be the ones that give me the most amount of confidence and the most amoung of comfort going into tomorrow night's race. I'm going to use it up, fill up my tanks and run around. Find a pack as they say.

Q. Is Anna Kournakova a four-letter word to you? You want to feel the success and be known for the success more than being a poster child or something like that?

DANICA PATRICK: I absolutely want the success more than anything. I think what happens when that success comes, though, is that the media comes along with it. En route to being a champion and a race winner, you break the female records, you do those along the way. My goal is not to be the first female to do things, or it's not to be a poster child or a calendar girl, it's to just win, because everything else takes care of itself when you win.

Q. Danica, in the post-race at Indy, someone asked you about the historical side of what you've done. You kind of made a joke about Pretty much went along with you said, 'Look I'm just racing.' In the week and a half that you've had and the hours you've spent talking about 500, have you reconsidered the historical side of what you've done up to this point?

DANICA PATRICK: Not really. No, I still feel the same. I keep saying that, but I do. I feel the same. I have the same expectations. I'm always pretty honest with my answers to anyone that's ever interviewed me or asked me questions before. I pride myself on that. I don't feel any different and haven't reevaluated what I've done or anything. I'm just on to the next.

Q. As a rookie, take me through the next stretch of races. These are all tracks that you have never been to before. How do go to a race track, I know you haven't tested many of them, like Richmond (International Raceway), which is a very different race track?

DANICA PATRICK: I'm already freaked out for Richmond. Its going to be tough. Its going to really be tough. This might be a time when I start to show rookie again, just being at tracks that I haven't been to before and trying to learn them. Each track has its own style of how you race them, how you set someone up, how you pass them. Its takes a little bit of time to learn that, but I to have a good team and I do have good teammates to help me accelerate the program. Its going to be really hard and its going to be a lot of work. I think Brian Barnhart was up here telling me its 11 out of the next 12 weekend, and I thought it was eight so now I need to really ramp it up. Its going to be tough. Its going to be tough for all of us. Its going to be a long, hot summer.

Q. Do you feel pressure to be a role model, and if so, how do you feel about that?

DANICA PATRICK: I feel no pressure to be a role model. I really don't. At this point in time, I'm so early in my career that I never expected this to come up so soon. I didn't expect to have to be concsious of it a little bit. I've always just been myself. I've always just been true to myself and true to my values and the way that I was brought up. I think that the fact of what I'm doing right now, and the way I was raised, is enough to be a role model. I think that's that great. I guess the one thing I'm always trying to do is to make sure that I'm always doing things that are respectable and are true to my personality. I think that's important. I think its important to establish early on who you are. And you have to keep kids in mind too, because they're our fan base in ten years. They're what really helps grow the sport.

Q. Did you see the portrait that being painted of you outside on the sign and what are your thoughts on that?

DANICA PATRICK: I haven't actually. I must have been out running the wrong direction this morning. My parents drove in a took a picture of it, so I looked at it. Its pretty cool. How long is it staying up there? Is just for the weekend? Do I have to pay? How about you keep it up as long as you'd like? Its pretty flattering. I don't know what to say. I don't have any other feelings other than feeling flattered and humbled by it.

Q. Do you have any pre-race rituals?

DANICA PATRICK: I believe you have to be consistent with your program - what you eat, when you go to bed. I went to bed around 11 last night, I guess, because I knew I got to sleep in. I got up, went on my morning run like normal. I came back and took a shower like normal and had breakfast and had my eggs and oatmeal like normal. I think you really need to be consistent so you're always still the same.

Q. Pre-race questions at Indy were rookie with 33 race cars on the track. Now the pre-race question seems to be can she race three-wide a whole race, maybe bang wheels. Do you sort of look forward to getting another pre-race rookie question out of the way? Do you feel good about racing three-wide? Is it just a matter of answering these questions one at a time about your racing?

DANICA PATRICK: I think they're completely respectable questions. I still do have to get use to three wide. I remember at Homestead when I was testing in the simulation race situation the day before, like we always do, which is always stressful the first time at a track because its always different. I remember being in the sandwich, being the cream in the cookies, being in the middle of two cars at Homestead and thinking, "Oh boy, just don't lift." And getting use to that. Then I remember in the race, I don't remember who I was passing, but I got a run and I went three wide and I went on top and I made it safe and made the pass on both of them. So, I've done it. I just need to keep on doing it, so I feel comfortable the next time right away. I feel more comfortable, just not completely. That's what we're going to do this afternoon is just practing running in the pack, practice going high, going low, going in the middle. The easier you can make your race day, whether or not you have to feel stressed out to the max on test day or not. In my situation, I'm always stepping outside of my comfort zone so much on test days and when we're racing in big packs. I'm not exactly comfortable with it yet. I haven't done it that much. This will really only be the second race with side-by-side racing for me. Jump in with both feet and just trust your instincts. I always make sure to remind myself to trust my gut, trust my head and trust my butt. It doesn't lie.

Q. On the conference call, you said part of fame is getting a lot of free things. Can you tell us what your haul has been? What kind of things have you gotten?

DANICA PATRICK: You know, I said that in joking a little bit. And I followed it up with what I said was the best part is receiving compliments from people from, you know, that have raced in the past that I have respected and I have looked at as being, you know, the greatest drivers, and also from the current drivers right now that I thought wouldn't it be great to race with those guys one day. That is what I ended up saying. But, you know, people just take care of you and they understand that your schedule is extremely busy and they want to make your life as easy as possible. You know, sometimes you fly in a private jet and, you know, you receive so many nice letters and cards from people. I got some jewelry at Indy. What else? I got some cookies. Jewelry is the most popular, though.

Q. What are your long-range goals? There's already been talk that if you continue to do well, some Formula One teams might be interested in you, certainly NASCAR might be interested in you. Would you pursue those things? Would you like maybe want to run in Formula One someday? What would you like to do long-term like that?

DANICA PATRICK: I'm very comfortable, very happy and right now only want to be where I'm at. I've worked so hard to be an IndyCar driver and that's what I always kept as my focus growing up. I got a little distracted when I was in England for a few years and I thought I would go Formula One races, and that was the place the best drivers in the world race. But I promise you this is tough racing, this is good racing. The field is so deep and so good that, you know, I mean, just like in qualifying last night, everybody was within the same 10th, you know, from third to 10th or something like that, I don't remember exactly. But I've lived in England and I've been to Europe, and I know what that's like and I know how lonely it can be if you don't have people around you. Unless you're with the right team, you know, things can be difficult, just like here. But you're alone. You know, only if right situations came about would I think about it, which depose the same thing for a NASCAR route. But I have to say that I've just always wanted to be an IndyCar driver. I race because it's fun and I race because it love it, not because I want to make money. To make myself completely clear, you know, I wouldn't go race for a different team because they paid me a ton more money if why I think I could do as well where I'm at. So, you know, I think there's only so much money you need to be happy and the rest of it is just problematic and causes you a lot of money when it comes to tax time.

Q. A couple of controversial ones here. Tomas Enge yesterday obviously was upset with what happened with Indy and was serious in saying that you are inconsistent, that he has a difficult time following your line when you're driving. Have you had rivalries in the past? Is that a concern? That is racing, what we hear in NASCAR, IRL. There are rivalries all the time and people get in the way.

DANICA PATRICK: You know, we're all going to race hard. We all want to go to the front. I don't know. I've never heard that before. But I guess he's got to deal with it.

Q. The second one is, Bobby Rahal has talked about FHM spread. It's three years ago. People are still talking about it. I saw you signing autographs. Any regret to doing that three years later? Is it something that it's going to be there I guess for the rest of your life?

DANICA PATRICK: Yeah, no, I'm pretty sure the picture is the one of my butt hanging out. I honestly didn't know they were doing that. I was standing there and they took the underwear bikini thing, they were moving it. I didn't know what they were doing it. They had full coverage to start with, and they didn't. Whatever. They get what they want in the end, don't they? I don't regret it for a second. It was an incredibly powerful thing. It created a lot of interest, a lot of buzz. People are still talking about it. And the magazine is what it is. And if you don't -- if certain people don't like it then they don't have to look at it. But it was, you know -- I'm a female and I'm wearing a skirt today. I'd much rather wear this than a pair of jeans. That's just the way it is. That's a very girlie magazine for girls - well, if you're going to be in it.

THE MODERATOR: Mike referenced Tomas Enge. Panther Racing is auctioning on eBay the wing from Danica's car after the contact in the race. This morning that wing, this will all be donated to charity, is going for $35,100.

Q. After this week's testing and qualifying, describe this track and what differences you're making to your car after last race.

DANICA PATRICK: I don't know. I'm just the driver. I don't know what they're doing. I'm sure they wouldn't want me to tell if I knew.

Q. How does this track feel, though, to you?

DANICA PATRICK: Uhm, you know, it's -- you get around here quickly. It seems like, you know, there's not much time to relax here like Indy. You know, you're going straight, able to kind of check your watch if you need to on the way to turn three. It's just more busy, and the racing's just going to be a little closer. That's all I can say so far, since I haven't been out there enough with other cars.

Q. Can you appreciate those women that came before you, Lyn St. James, Janet Guthrie, Sarah Fisher, and would you be here in this position if it weren't for them?

DANICA PATRICK: I completely am -- I respect them, I acknowledge the fact that what they've done has helped, as they always say, pave the way. I think that especially in the earliest days when women weren't quite so accepted and the response might have been slightly more negative, you know, I don't know how it was, I wasn't probably born yet. But, you know, I think that everything that women do along the way that's good helps. The things that they do if they're bad hurt, and they only just keep reaffirming that there's not been a woman that, you know, has really been able to do it yet. But, yes, what they've done has been very positive and they've made people realize that there are females out there that are, you know, going to be able to do well, and it's just finding one that can do it more consistently, you know, have all the right qualities for sponsors, for handling pressure, for driving the car, all kinds of different things. So would I be here without them? I don't know. I think that it's -- you know, I mean, the right thing to say is no, but I don't know. I don't know if -- you know, I think it's individually based. And just because I'm going out here and doing what I'm doing doesn't mean that all of a sudden there are more women that can do it. You have to have it in you. And I don't think that just because what I'm doing is going to mean that they all of a sudden have talent. They don't. Not all guys do either. There's just a lot more of 'em.

Q. How big and how wide does this spotlight feel that's on you right now? How is that affecting you?

DANICA PATRICK: I don't know, this room's not that big. It's fine with me. It's comfortable. And I'm very confident that I can only do what I can do. And if it's not if enough, it's so hard, that I promise, you should get out here and try it. It's not easy. Or whoever is going to create a negative story or a negative attention to it. But I don't feel pressure to perform from anybody else but myself. And my own pressure is bigger than anything. So if I can make myself happy, then I'm doing okay.

Q. Attracting so much attention from media, do you feel that the other drivers are feeling kind of jealous of you?

DANICA PATRICK: You know, like Tony and Dan said about, If they're watching her, they're watching us. I would hope that's the way a lot of them feel. You know, I've said this before, is that along with all the attention is a lot of work. I'm very busy. You know, there's people always wanting you for something. You know, I ride a bicycle everywhere now and I can't walk because I can't walk, because I just won't get anywhere very fast. You know, things have changed. So, you know, there are things that you have to deal with when the attention comes. And, you know, maybe not everybody has an understanding for what that is. But, you know, I do believe that there are good stories in this series outside of myself. I do believe that, you know, hopefully those stories will be more public because they're looking at the whole series and somebody is going to run out of ink on Danica. It's an interesting series with a lot of great, great people in it. So I think that as time goes on, the winners and the polesitters and the people who are making, you know, the cut that weekend, whether it be me or somebody else, you know, I just saw a huge picture of Tomas Scheckter on the cover of a newspaper. Would the picture have been so big if the buzz wouldn't have been around the weekend? I don't know, maybe. But maybe not. So hopefully it will spill over to everybody else, too.

Q. Quite often you use a pure racer's term that really sometimes you only hear the likes of Michael Schumacher or Arie Luyendyk use it, they use it a little cruder. They say "trust your butt." Is that something, the literal, that's where you feel first what the race car is doing? Does that come out of karting? Or do you think many race drivers can simplify it that clearly or is that just a few of you who are able to realize it's just that simple?

DANICA PATRICK: Maybe it's less than all of us just because not everybody is -- not everybody's a great race car driver. You know, while I don't -- I still have tons to prove, but there are people like Schumacher and those people have done it a lot. You know, it's where I get my feeling from. So, I don't know, it would be interesting. Ask around, see if they all have the same response. See if they all feel it in the same places. It's definitely -- you know, it's a sensory sport. And I think that, you know, what comes through your butt spills out through your body and it makes your hands and your feet respond. You know, then again, maybe it's just a saying.

Q. Since the IRL was founded in '96, they've struggled with an identity. Now you happen to be that face and identity. Up till this point, except for the fact I'm in the media and I know who your sponsors are and who the league is, I haven't heard you mention that yet. Is it more right now about "me" instead of the team and being a partner? Does that make sense?

DANICA PATRICK: No. Is it more about -- sorry. Is it more --

Q. I mean, the sponsors, it's critical to have sponsors for what they do.

DANICA PATRICK: Is it what they've done that has created this?

Q. No. The sponsors have to be there for the league and you guys to survive.

DANICA PATRICK: Right.

Q. Is it not important to make sure that you recognize those people, the teammates and the sponsors and the league?

THE MODERATOR: Actually, let me cut in here for a minute. We just got the news Joyce Julius this morning. Argent and Pioneer, exposure they got on the Indy 500 was over $10 million. So there was certainly exposure coming to the sponsors and multiple front pages in USA Today. If you want to see the media list that we've done other than just the number of outlets that are represented here, there's a number of media that came here this week. Mike Harris came here because of this story. Ed Hinton is here because of this story. There's a number of media. There's quite a bit of exposure for the league and the sponsors, Rahal Letterman Racing and Danica.

Q. I realize that. But you're in radio. The print people see that. The television sees that. In radio, we have to have something auditory to give to our listeners and we don't have that right now.

DANICA PATRICK: What do you mean?

Q. The talking about the sponsors, who has gotten you to where you are besides your passion for driving.

DANICA PATRICK: So you're not going to air it if I don't say Argent, Pioneer and Honda. Argent, Pioneer and Honda.

Q. I know if I'm a sponsor, I want you to be talking about me when you're talking about yourself. I guess that's what I'm saying.

DANICA PATRICK: Like Brent said, I think that it's gone pretty well. The fact that, you know, while you have your listeners and for your radio, you're trying to get -- our job is to get our listeners to watch the race, and it's all over, it's all over the race car and us. If they're really interested in the story, then they'll read up on it. They'll look at the newspaper and see the fact that there's a big Argent sign on the side of the car. You know, it's about sponsors, which is very important, but while doing well makes it all better. I mean, people will pay attention. If they like the story, they're going to see other things, too. I promise you, they're getting a bang for their buck, especially with me at this point.

Q. Last night both Tomas Scheckter and Tomas Enge were having fun at your expense, saying they're glad they're lining up in front of you instead of behind you. I'm wondering if that kind of thing bothers you at all, if you've had any opportunity to talk to them since the Indy 500 or if you plan to or if your response is just to go out and pass them as quick as you can Saturday night?

DANICA PATRICK: I treat them just the same as I treat anyone: I want to pass them as quickly as I can. Either that or if they take off, I've heard, you know, and seen that they'll pit before me. They don't get quite as good mileage as the Hondas do. So, you know, these things take care of themselves in race distances. I always say qualifying is very important, it's not everything. And you have to be able to do the distance and consistently be fast and make good mileage. So there are so many more things that come into the race situation, but, you know, the media's been having fun with me at other people's expense. They can have all the fun they want.

Q. I have pictures of Lyn St. James coming out of your garage at the 500 race day. What were you two talking about before the race?

DANICA PATRICK: Oh, I was just asking for her advice, and just, you know: Give it to me, Lyn, what's your words of wisdom? That was it really. She was just saying hi. We hadn't seen each other for a while. That was about it really.

Q. You have a Honda engine. There's a lot of Hondas on the IRL circuit. You're thoughts about two Chevys being on the front two positions?

DANICA PATRICK: They're the only two Chevys, aren't they?

Q. Exactly.

DANICA PATRICK: Good for them. They got it figured out right now. That's good. They qualified really well. Good on 'em.

Q. Is it good for the circuit?

DANICA PATRICK: Is it good for the circuit? I don't know. I'm really only worried about what's good for the team and what's good for us and myself and the car and everybody around me. So, you know, no matter who it would be, whether they would be other Hondas, you know, you always want to beat everyone. It just so happens that they're Chevys this time, so.

Q. Everybody wants to win the race. What would you consider a success? Is it winning or top five, top 10?

DANICA PATRICK: It's dependent on the day. I think, you know, success is usually defined simply in terms of winning. But you have to understand, and sometimes people from the outside don't always understand exactly what's gone on in the race. Maybe you have problems. Maybe you have a gear missing or maybe something's bent. Maybe you had a collision with somebody and something is bent. I think something was wrong with Helio's car at Indy. He had a collision and had something bent. Sometimes you don't always know what's going on so you have to evaluate the day and at the end of the day were you happy with what you had to deal with. So that's how I feel.

Q. You've been racing for a long time. You've developed one of the great game faces at a pretty early age. You're so charming and you handle all this so well. Is that something that you have worked on over the years or is it simply a button that gets pushed when the suit goes on and the helmet is in hand?

DANICA PATRICK: Have you ever seen my dad?

Q. I have seen your dad.

DANICA PATRICK: I think that's where I get it from. I've always had the face that "Don't come talk to me or I'll kill you" look. I've been told before, you know, "Danica, you're really unapproachable when you walk around the track. You just need to smile a little bit more." So, you know, in the meantime between getting it to the track and race, I try to smile as much as possible. But, you know, when things are tense and you need to focus, then I don't know if it's maybe my reflex and how I kind of make people go like this and not approach me maybe. Maybe it's just a reflex for me. Maybe it's something that is just built into me. And then maybe, again, it's just my game face and I just put it on. So it's a tool actually.

Q. The way you handled fans at Indy, they were three, four, five deep sometimes around the garage. It was amazing how you would very rarely let people stand out there without going out there very quickly, signing autographs, getting back into the garage. Is that the way you intend on always trying to take care of fans? Will you always try to handle them first?

DANICA PATRICK: No, it's very important, and they're what -- fans are important, and I want to keep them in, whether it means signing an autograph or not. I wish so much wasn't going on eBay and I would feel better signing more stuff. But, you know, like I say, it's important. So, you know, I'll do the best I can. But Indy was a time that there was time. The month is very spread out. You do a lot of running, but it's all in the afternoons, so you had the availability to walk out there for a little bit where, you know, at these race weekends, everything is a little bit more compact and you're just a little bit more busy and, you know, the time that you have, you need to go and eat or, you know, you don't have as much free time. So I think that it's going to be a more interesting balance through the rest of the year because of the schedule. But it's something that I am -- I will try and do my best.

Q. Have your teammates verbalized to you their feeling of invisibility? I know Vitor was congratulated on having his teammate finish fourth. He was like, "I almost won the thing myself." Have they verbalized to you how they have suddenly become less visible because of Hurricane Danica?

DANICA PATRICK: That's a new one. I haven't heard that one yet. Did you just make that up?

Q. Yeah.

DANICA PATRICK: Good job. You must be a writer. No, huh-uh. I haven't heard anything. Maybe they're talking to each other. I don't know. They don't say anything to me.

Q. What is the relationship you have with your crew? A lot of times obviously with the male drivers, the guys club. Do they treat you like anybody else or is it maybe that protective over your sister kind of relationship at all?

DANICA PATRICK: You know, it might be more that. I think that, you know, with the team, if I feel more like they're proud, they're excited, they're anticipating the good things that happen, and they're proud. And I'm sure that it's like that on every team. And this is one of the things that's a little bit different with being a female in the sport, is that, you know, you're not so buddy buddy going out to the bars with your boys. But I still take them out to dinner and, you know, it's important. And I like the guys, too. They're very good guys and they work their butt off for me. You know, when I'm off going to get ready to go to a red carpet event, they're working on a race car. But, you know, to a certain extent, though, it's what they love to do and this is what I love to do. And we both have very -- we both are in the same world but different jobs. So, you know, maybe it's a little bit more difficult and it's a little bit more proud factor. I don't know. Ask them.

Q. Lyn St. James told me she thought your biggest area growth since you were a teenager is that you've learned to control your emotions more. She said when you were younger, she said you were a lot like your dad. She said your dad has a pretty good temper and she thought you inherited that from him. She said you would get mad sometimes at yourself as a teenager, she said, about you now you've changed. She said you've learned to control that and just go with the flow during a race and do what you need to do and not let it get to you. Do you feel you've changed a lot in that regard?

DANICA PATRICK: Yeah, it was definitely something I had to learn to control. I had to learn to hold it in, and if I needed to let it out, let it be in a private place. And it's just maturing. It's not having an immature sort of response to things. It's really I think as simple as that. But, you know, coming from, you know, the way that -- where I've come from, it's probably more than other people. But it's also what's helped me get here. I'm determined and I'm mad if I don't do what I think I can do. You know, that's probably why after qualifying I was so mad that I didn't get pulled because I was like I knew that was there, you know, where it's just qualifying. It was not just qualifying to me right there. I knew there was more in it.

Q. You know that the IRL series, which is more than 200 countries all over the world, and in Brazil it's becoming huge. The Brazilian women want to know which are the beauty products that you use that are from Brazil?

DANICA PATRICK: Here we go. I don't know if I should say them yet or wait until one comes in.

Q. Wait till the checks comes.

DANICA PATRICK: What do I use? I use -- I use my own -- I use the girl me does my facials, I use her products at her salon. I don't know what the exact name of it is. It's a private brand. I use Chanel, I use MAC, I use -- I think I even have like -- might be like Loreal, Sephora, because they have everything in Sephora. For all the girls that have been in Sephora, you know what I'm talking about.

That's really about it. And I use -- I think I might actually use Aveda hair products, too, just like Dan Wheldon (laughter).

Q. The details of the ring? Size, cut and clarity?

DANICA PATRICK: Goodness, that's a Paul question. I do think it's like four and a quarter-ish. And all I know is -- because I didn't want to know how much it was, I didn't want to know any of the details, I told him, "Just insure it, honey." All I know is that the jeweler who brought it to him, because a three wasn't big enough or something, he's like, "It's got to be bigger, it's got to be great." So he brought this and said, "The Queen of England would be proud, okay?" It's beautiful. I don't know. Come check it out. I've got to clean it first, though. Got a little dirty. I shower with it, so.

Q. Have you had any really strange gifts or requests from fans?

DANICA PATRICK: Requests of gifts from me?

Q. No, requests from fans or gifts that they wanted to give you.

DANICA PATRICK: Nothing bizarre, I don't think. I haven't received like underwear or anything. I don't know. Nothing crazy. I really have to say, nothing really crazy. It's pretty much just like girlie stuff, you know, jewelry and pieces like that.

Q. Now that we've talked jewelry and makeup, you talked --

DANICA PATRICK: Aren't you guys so excited, guys. That's what my team deals with.

Q. How much does this sex appeal help you?

DANICA PATRICK: I think that's why I feel comfortable with the photo shots, the FHM, having to take pictures and doing things. While I'm not excited about doing it here at the track, because I'm here for a completely different purpose, I enjoy it off track because I am feminine. I enjoy being girlie. And I think that I, just like my private life of being very disconnected from racing when I'm away, I mean, I don't have pictures up on the walls, you know, we don't necessarily watch it on TV, I'm watching more like Entertainment Tonight and the reality shows, even though they're all out for the summer, it's so disappointing, there's nothing on. It's kind of the other side of me, too, is like the tough racer, you know, dirty, sweaty, gross, which is how I felt yesterday. And then there's, you know, dress-up. So it's just, you know, my life is full of these extreme opposites.

Q. What would you recommend to young girls who want to follow in your footsteps?

DANICA PATRICK: Good question. It's important. You know, I think that if I'm going to be a role model, I think that the message needs to be as simple as, you know, do it because you love it, do it because it's what you want to do it, not because you feel like you have to, not because it's, you know -- not because your role model does it, but do it because you love it, you know. And, you know, I hope that I'm a role model for people who are determined to do something, whatever it is, whether it's racing or whether it's being a doctor or an astronaut or a basketball player. You know, I just hope that it's, you know, overcoming these different hurdles. And while I acknowledge that, you know, I've been very fortunate in my career, and I feel like things have gone really well and I don't feel like I've had to, you know, leap and jump over mountains - maybe I have, maybe that's why I'm okay, why I'm here, because I don't really don't recognize them, they were just the way they came about, it was just the way it was. And I don't know what it's like to be a guy and I always get asked, you know, the girl/guy question. I'm like, "Hey, you know, I don't know what it feels like to be a guy and a guy doesn't know what I feel like." If you're going to do a sport or go for a certain profession, just make sure it's because you love it because everybody's really good at something, you just have to find it.

Q. You were talking about the ring. Is your fiance the most secure guy in the world because she's sharing you with everybody?

DANICA PATRICK: Yeah, no, well, he doesn't have to share me with anybody, I promise. He's been -- you know, he's been in professional sports for so long and working in golf and working in baseball, you know, a little bit of football, just different things, because he's a physical therapist, and the best in the country at that from what I think. He understands that, you know, these things happen and people -- you know, people get into the media spotlight. Some of our good friends are people like, you know, Mark Mulder, who now plays for the Cardinals. You know, he used to be friends with all kinds of people. So, anyways, I think he just understands how it goes about and that it doesn't -- and he's helped to make sure that I know, too, is that it doesn't define you, it really doesn't. What people say, you can't let that be the only thing that makes you feel good. When you come home and when racing's over, you don't have anything else. You know, it's just the two of you. So you need to make sure that you always take care of that.

Q. How many requests are you getting a day and what percentage are you even passing along for consideration?

BRENT MAURER: Uhm, I'll use this example. Last Thursday I actually worked from home and my cell phone rang the whole day. I called a buddy of my in New York, who is a divorce attorney. No, I'm just kidding. My wife wasn't very happy. The next day I came into the office, I had 59 voice mails that morning that wanted interviews and, you know, that's just kind of an example of how busy the phone's been. The first day of May I called back to the office, told them to put me on the max cell minute plan. That was a good move. Saved you a few bucks, Scott. You know, it's been a lot. We're sorting through stuff. You know, prioritizing. Obviously this weekend, I mean, we've been fortunate. CNN is here to do a feature on Danica. 60 Minutes was in laying the groundwork for something later on, and Sports Illustrated is back focusing on a couple of things with her. So we've been able to focus on some big national stuff in addition to, I mean, obviously all the stuff with Associated Press, the Trib, the Dallas papers and everything. So there's a lot of attention focused and, you know, we're trying to prioritize and, you know, try to do the most for the team and for the league.

THE MODERATOR: We have to wrap up. Thanks.

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