- Kentucky city called socialist for buying gas station, undercutting competitor fuel prices
- Israel hits five mosques, sports complex in overnight Gaza strikes
- Hillary Clinton dogged for refusing reporters’ questions on book tour
- EPA tweet baffles: ‘I’m now a C-List celebrity in Kim Kardashian: Hollywood’ iPhone game
- Australian P.M. Abbott: MH17 evidence tampered with on ‘industrial scale’
- Rep. Luis Gutierrez tells Hispanics to vote and ‘punish those’ who oppose amnesty
- Country singer Tim McGraw not sorry for slapping female fan: ‘Things happen’
- Iraq vet cited for owning 14 therapeutic pet ducks
- White House takes credit for drop in unaccompanied children at border
- International crises be damned, Obama’s fundraising trip must go on
Patrick hangs on to Daytona pole after safe run
Question of the Day
DAYTONA BEACH, FLA. (AP) - All Danica Patrick needed to do was keep her car intact.
She didn’t exactly follow her team owner’s advice _ start and then park after two laps, he joked _ but she certainly saved an all-out push for Sunday’s Daytona 500.
Patrick started on the pole for the first 150-mile Budweiser Duel before she coasted and finished 17th out of 23 cars. She’ll keep the top spot for Sunday’s Daytona 500.
She led the field to green, then quietly faded to the back, never giving herself a chance to race for the win.
“I suppose there’s a sense of relief” she kept the pole, Patrick said. “But at the same point in time, I’m a race car driver, and it’s not fun to have to protect and be careful and be cautious and drop back at times.”
Patrick was nowhere near the four-lap sprint to the finish that saw Kevin Harvick hold off Greg Biffle for the win.
Patrick became the first woman in history to win a pole in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup series. Team owner Gene Haas even suggested _ perhaps, jokingly _ that Patrick call it a day after a couple of laps.
Not a chance.
“We really just wanted to run probably 10 or 15 laps and be in the pack, be in front,” crew chief Tony Gibson said. “Once we got into a stalemate, we fell back, the inside line wasn’t moving and it was just time to get out.”
No driver has won the Daytona 500 from the pole since Dale Jarrett in 2000.
She can’t rest easy yet, not with Cup practices Friday and Saturday, where any wreck could send her to the back of the field. But she passed the first major of Speedweeks since she thrust herself and NASCAR into the national spotlight with a history-making run at the pole for “The Great American Race.”
“My nerves will be calmed down a little bit Saturday afternoon when practice is over and our car’s in one piece,” Gibson said.
Her debrief was, well, brief. Her No. 10 Chevrolet had a tachometer issue and she enjoyed taking the outside lane.
Other than those tidbits, Patrick had little analysis for her mundane performance.
“I hate coming to the end like that and just lagging back,” she said. “That’s not fun, but it’s also really ignorant to go drive up into the pack and be part of an accident for absolutely no reason. You’re really not going to learn much there.”
U.S. appetite for drugs begets violence migrants are fleeing
- IRS seeks help destroying another 3,200 computer hard drives
- Jewish woman booted from JetBlue flight over fight with Palestinian
- YOUNG: A sinking presidency, deeper after November?
- PRUDEN: A deadly enemy within exacerbating immigration crisis
- Edward Snowden to work with Russia on anti-spy technology
- MERRY: Handicaps in Hillary's way
- U.S. scrambles as violence escalates in Israel-Hamas conflict
- Humanists seek support from Congress on military chaplains
- Rep. Jared Polis' anti-fracking crusade riles Colorado
- Big milestone for Britain's little prince
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq