Fuel game costs Patrick yet another shot at Indy

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“You’ve got to take the chance to win at Indy,” she insisted afterward. “I would much rather come away finishing a little lower but having that chance to win at some point and time.”

This same scenario cost her in 2005, when the rookie surged to the lead with 10 laps to go. She didn’t have enough fuel to run at top speed, and Wheldon soon passed her. (So did two others; Patrick wound up fourth.)

It’s her crew’s job to keep Patrick running, and maybe there was nothing else that could have kept her in the race longer. Had she pitted earlier, she might still have wound up back in the pack.

But as Sunday’s wacky finish showed, the only sure way to win Indy is to be running near the front at the end. Until Patrick gets herself in that position, she’ll be just another also-ran.

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AP National Writer Nancy Armour can be reached at narmour(at)ap.org or follow her at http://twitter.com/nrarmour

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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