IRL: Motegi: Danica Patrick race report

Tough Day Leaves Patrick 11th in Indy Japan 300 MOTEGI, Japan (April 21, 2007) -- Motorola driver Danica Patrick started fourth, but fought handling problems on Saturday and finished 11th in the Indy Japan 300 at Twin Ring Motegi in Motegi, ...

Tough Day Leaves Patrick 11th in Indy Japan 300

MOTEGI, Japan (April 21, 2007) -- Motorola driver Danica Patrick started fourth, but fought handling problems on Saturday and finished 11th in the Indy Japan 300 at Twin Ring Motegi in Motegi, Japan.

Patrick, who posted her best qualifying result Friday since September 2005, stayed in the top 10 throughout the first half of the 200-lap event while fighting an understeer condition on the #7 Motorola car. She cycled to as high as seventh in the closing stages of the event as fuel mileage became a factor, but had to come to the pit lane herself for fuel with a couple laps to go, dropping her to 11th in the final rundown.

Team 7-Eleven driver Tony Kanaan netted his first win of the 2007 season and moved to second in the series point standings. Dan Wheldon finished the race in second place followed by Canadian Club driver Dario Franchitti in third. Scott Dixon and Sam Hornish Jr. rounded out the top five.

Next up on the IndyCar Series schedule is the Kansas Lottery Indy 300 on Sunday, April 29.

Danica Patrick, #7 Motorola Dallara/Honda/Firestone:

"I had a fast car and it wasn't fast in the race. It just wasn't handling right. I had so much understeer and couldn't run with anybody. I was okay by myself. But, when you don't start from the pole, you have to pass people and I couldn't pass people. We just never seemed to get it right. The last stint seemed to be where we got it the best. Then we went into a fuel mileage race and we had to pit with a lap or two to go. Nothing really seemed to come together for us. It was a good weekend. Even at the end of the race, the Motorola car was never out of the top four in speed."

Kim Green, Race Strategist, #7 Motorola Dallara/Honda/Firestone:

"We gave Danica a pretty tough race car to drive and she did a very good job bringing it home. We had way too much understeer in the car for the track conditions. We made a lot of changes during the race and it put us into a difficult position to win the race. Towards the end of the race, we needed to make fuel mileage without stopping and it made us slow down. It was a really tough day, but I am proud that she brought the Motorola car home and I think we are getting better and better with every event. We were looking for a very good result today and just didn't have the car to get the job done."

-credit: agr

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Dario Franchitti , Scott Dixon , Tony Kanaan , Kim Green , Sam Hornish Jr. , Danica Patrick