Patrick will retaliate on track

CONCORD – Danica Patrick is learning about

NASCAR and won’t be afraid to

deliver a message on the track after an incident last weekend where

she felt she was intentionally wrecked.

Patrick, who will run in tonight’s Nationwide race at Charlotte

Motor Speedway, was involved in an accident last week with James

Buescher in the final laps that ruined a possible top-20 finish for


Patrick said she felt Buescher wrecked her, although he called

it a racing incident.

“I like being able to make my own destiny with people out

there,” Patrick said. “There are a lot of people in Indy Car that

push you around and do things that you can’t believe. You’re like,

‘Are you trying to flip the car?’ If I didn’t lift, that’s what

would happen.”

POLE RUN: Jeff Gordon earned his first pole of the season and

extended his streak of having at least one pole in 18 consecutive


Gordon starts first after a lap of 191.544 mph Thursday night.

He’s followed by Carl Edwards (191.455 mph), AJ Allmendinger

(190.921), Mark Martin (190.914) and Paul Menard (190.678).

Points leader Jimmie Johnson qualified 10th with Denny Hamlin,

who is second in the points, qualifying 23rd.

Failing to qualify: Joe Nemechek, Casey Mears, Mike Bliss, Jason

Leffler, Kevin Conway and Johnny Sauter.

NO POINTS: Talladega is two weeks away and already the talk is

about how that race could alter the points. Carl Edwards has a

unique idea for what to do with the Talladega Chase race.

“Points should not be awarded at Talladega,” he said. “In a fair

competition they shouldn’t be because it’s so random. It’s just a

treacherous race. Now, since there are points awarded, it adds a

whole level of stress to the race.

“You drive around and if you’re doing really well in the points,

every lap your heart is pounding and you’re just trying to predict

any wrecks that might happen and the best way to avoid them. I

guess in a guy’s position like myself, the reasons that I don’t

like it when I’m running well in the points are the same

reasons that I look forward to it now.”

PIT STOPS: Ty Dillon, grandson of Richard Childress, plans to

run the full ARCA schedule next year and possibly run in a few

Camping World Truck races next year. … Thirty-five drivers from

18 states, Mexico and Puerto Rico will participate in Drive for

Diversity combine Sunday through Tuesday at Motor Mile Speedway in

Radford, Va.

Contact Dustin Long at 373-7062 or dustin.long