Continued from page 1

Patrick said she was particularly frustrated because her car was so fast _ even when she was running by herself behind two cars that had teamed up to form a high-speed drafting tandem.

“It was so fast,” Patrick said. “I could keep up to tandem cars in front of me all by myself. And it’s so frustrating when you have one of those kinds of cars, because there are other days where you don’t have that kind of a car, nobody seems to manage to find your bumper ever. It’s very frustrating when you’ve got a really fast car. Tony Jr. obviously gave me a car that sat on the pole. I thought it was a lot of fun and quite chaotic up until then. But hopefully the fans were entertained.”

Patrick also has points to worry about now that she’s running full-time in Nationwide.

“Every race matters, every point matters, which is why we got out there again,” Patrick said. “But there are so many other days where your car isn’t perfect, or isn’t great, or isn’t super-fast, and nothing happens to you. And you think, `Why, on the days when I have a really fast car, does it have to happen today?’ But it did, and we’ll move on.”

Patrick, a former IndyCar star who made the jump to NASCAR, also crashed on the final lap of a qualifying race for the Daytona 500 on Thursday. Much like Saturday’s accident, that one wasn’t her fault.

With her first Daytona 500 start looming Sunday, she doesn’t have time to dwell on the wrecks.

“Obviously, we’ve got the Daytona 500 tomorrow, my first time,” Patrick said. “And I can’t dwell on today. I need to buckle down and focus, I need to get ready for tomorrow for the big day. And hopefully we have a better day.”