Danica erred in crashing herself

Published Oct. 25, 2012 1:00 a.m. ET

I’m going to put my Dad hat on for a minute and I’m going to pretend that’s my son, Brandon, in that Danica Patrick situation Sunday at Kansas Speedway.

Patrick was racing with Landon Cassill when she retaliated for some prior moves and ended up spinning out.

I have always taught Brandon, for his 12 to 13 years of racing, you can’t take anything off of anybody. If you ever let them know they can take advantage of you, they will never go away. They’re kind of like the IRS -- once they’re on you, they don’t get off.

At the same time, I’ve also told him, “Be smart with your retaliation." I prefer to leave the race cars out of it. Normally it’s not the drivers that suffer, it’s the teams and owners and the guys that have to build these race cars. Obviously her retaliation didn’t do a thing to Landon Cassill – he actually came back to have a top-20 finish. But it put her out of the race with a very torn up race car.

I put my Dad hat on and I’m going to pretend that was Brandon in that No. 10 car Sunday and I’m going to tell him to speak his piece and let it be known you’re not going to take any crap off another driver, but don’t take yourself out of the race doing it.

That’s not what she needs to do right now. She’s trying to make laps and learn these racetracks before she starts to embark on a full season.

It’s kind of like I told Ernie Irvan one time – “Our fab shop cannot stand for you to get anybody else back. You’re tearing race cars up non-stop to get people back.”


I’m proud that she’s showing some fire, I’m proud she’s not just rolling over and just saying, “Oh well, that’s racing and I’m just a rookie.”

I’m proud of that, I’m glad of that, I like that.

But you’ve got to pick and choose the ways and the times you retaliate.


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