FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) - Danica Patrick was pushing hard -- on
the track, not pit row.
After a week of buzz created by her light shove of Dan Wheldon
during a postrace confrontation, Patrick proved her feistiness
where it counts. The much-publicized "Rumble at the Speedway" in
Texas ended with Patrick in third place, the best finish of her
Patrick made a charge in the 23 laps after the final restart --
often running the fastest laps at 213 to 214 miles per hour. A late
six-car crash that she avoided knocked Wheldon out of the race.
The Andretti Green newcomer closed within inches of teammate
Tony Kanaan. But she just couldn't get that elusive first victory,
staying near the front but unable to get past Kanaan or third-time
Texas winner Sam Hornish Junior.
Last night in pit row, Patrick was celebrating her best finish
in 37 IndyCar Series races with Kanaan and fellow teammate Dario
Franchitti, who finished fourth.
It was a much different scene from a week earlier in Milwaukee,
when Patrick grabbed Wheldon's arm, voiced her complaint about
their on-track collision and pushed him as he started to walk away
without responding to her.