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Danica And Kenseth Talk Tempers At Atlanta

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Friday, August 31 2012

Danica Patrick says fans loved it when she waved her finger at Regan Smith last week at Bristol.

By Jeff Hood | Senior Writer

HAMPTON, Ga. – Danica Patrick said Friday at Atlanta Motor Speedway she had no regrets waving her finger at Regan Smith last weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway following a late-race incident that sent her No. 10 Chevrolet nose-first into the inside retaining wall.

“I think what matters is that the fans love it,” Patrick said. “I think the fans loved it. They were cheering like heck for me to go up the track and do something awesome.

“I’m just glad I didn’t give him the finger because that’s what I was going to do and I heard that’s a fine. I’m just that I had the epiphany at the last second to point my finger as opposed to raising the middle one.

“Those are the emotions flying around 430 or 440 laps into a 500 lap race at Bristol and you’re running tight quarters all day long.”

Matt Kenseth met the media shortly after 1 p.m. on Friday. Afterwards, he met with Tony Stewart to discuss the much-discussed incident at Bristol Motor Speedway last weekend that resulted in Stewart hurling his helmet at Kenseth’s No. 17 Ford.

“Honestly, last week I was really surprised,” Kenseth said. “I wasn’t trying to put our cars in a bad situation. I thought we were going to make it through there and I thought it was going to be alright, so I’m not sure what all went down there.

“But Tony and I, 99 percent of the time at least, show each other probably more respect and more room on the track than probably most people have. There have been a couple instances here and there, but I think, overall, we try to show each other a lot of respect and we usually get that back.”

Comedian Jeff Foxworthy made the rounds at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Friday to promote a new food product carrying his name.

Friday night’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event at AMS is being billed as the Jeff Foxworthy Grit Chips 200.

The Hapeville, Ga. native met the media and was asked questions about the raw emotion involved in the sport.

He was specifically asked to his thoughts on the 1979 Daytona 500, when brothers Bobby and Donnie Allison wound up in a fistfight with Cale Yarborough on the final lap.

“I kind of miss those days in NASCAR,” Foxworthy said. “I’m sure that’s politically incorrect but I loved when (the late) Dale (Earnhardt) would get mad with somebody and put them in the wall. I’m sure that’s politically wrong and I’m sure I’ll get called into the trailer for it.

“You’re not allowed to do that in other sports, except hockey where you can still get into a fight. Let’s be honest, why else would you watch a hockey game without hoping that somebody gets into a fight.

“I remember watching that and just thinking ‘how do you ever top this? How do you ever top the last lap brothers getting out and just getting into a fight with somebody on the last lap. It’s one of the greatest sporting moments in history to this day.”

Atlanta-based NAPA Auto Parts announced on Friday it has renewed its Sprint Cup sponsorship with Michael Waltrip Racing and driver Martin Truex Jr.

Truex is winless this season, but sits fifth in the championship standings with two races remaining until the start of the Chase for the Sprint Cup. His five top-five finishes is evidence the New Jersey native is on the verge of taking his No. 56 Toyota to victory lane.

“We’re right there,” Truex said. “We’ve been close. We’ve been capable of winning races all year long, we just haven’t finished the deal.

We’ve run second a bunch of times and we’ve had the car to beat two or three races and we didn’t do everything right. It takes a lot of things to go your way to win a race. On the days where we’ve had the fastest car out there, we didn’t have the cautions go our way or maybe pit strategy or the way the cycles went, but we’ve had the speed and we’ve got the team that’s capable of doing it for sure.

Ron Hornaday Jr. and Jamie McMurray spent about an hour early Friday morning giving 36 breast cancer survivors pace car rides around Atlanta Motor Speedway.

They piloted their passengers in a pair of pink Chevrolet Camaro SS vehicles. The twosome reached speeds of 130 mph while running side-by-side.

As part of the “Making Strides against Breast Cancer” program, Chevrolet will make a donation based on the amount of time the pink Camaro SS pace car paces the field on Sunday.

“Chevrolet will donate $200 to this program for each lap the pace car leads the field during Sunday night’s AdvoCare 500,” Chevrolet spokesperson Jessica Stroupe said.

– Jeff Hood can be reached at jhood@racintoday.com

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Friday, August 31 2012


  • Frank says:

    Funny how Danica is quick to point the finger when she felt she was wronged, but never apologized to Reed Sorenson for dumping him at Indy. Of course, she managed to take herself out at the same time, but she did cause that wreck. Smith had the class to apologize to her, even though it was a racing incident, with him moving up and her moving down. In IndyCar, the top drivers in that series named her the biggest blocker in the field.

  • skepticsam says:

    We all have our moments-all drivers have their wrecks and fueds-Save it for Atlanta-