Danica Patrick: Failure to Learn from Past Mistakes Continues to Cost Her Races

Rick Weiner@RickWeinerNYFeatured ColumnistOctober 21, 2012

KANSAS CITY, KS - OCTOBER 21:  Landon Cassill, driver of the #83 Burger King Toyota, and Danica Patrick, driver of the #10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet, spin after an incident in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway on October 21, 2012 in Kansas City, Kansas.  (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Ed Zurga/Getty Images

Another race, another wreck for Danica Patrick.

Patrick took offense to Landon Cassill diving to her inside in Turn 4 on Lap 155 of the Hollywood Casino 400 on Sunday and tapped his rear bumper twice before finding his quarter panel, sending Cassill into a spin and herself into the wall as they battled for 25th place.

In what comes as no surprise to anyone, she had an explanation for her actions, because—let's be real here—there's always an explanation.

To be fair, this isn't the first time that Cassill and Patrick have crossed paths on the race track, a point she made to reporters while he continued to race and she stood frustrated in the garage (h/t Sporting News):

A couple of times, he’s come over and said, ‘Hey, sorry.’ A couple of times he has hit me and had to say that. So how many times are you really sorry and how many times are you just like, ‘I’m sorry, I hope you don’t get into the back of me.’

I know that when I’m running behind people, I do everything I can to stay off of them because I don’t want to make them mad. But when it’s happened a few times and I've only done how many races? I have to stand up for myself.

You can’t just hit me for no reason other than I’m in the way. You’ve got to know that it’s going to come back to you if you do it...I let frustration get to me but I also think I have to stand up for myself.

Her point about feeling like she needs to stand up for herself is understandable.

She's a female in a male-dominated sport, and she isn't about to let the competition think that because she's a woman, they can push her around the track.

Nobody's questioning whether she can hold her own or whether she's tough enough to succeed, because that would be idiotic. She's proven that she belongs.

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But she knows better than to get into someone, having been on the receiving end of that equation more than once—and if you are going to travel down that path, you had better be sure that you are able to keep driving after you wreck someone.

@landoncassill on @danicapatrick - "Rule No. 1 of stock car racing is to learn how to wreck someone w/out wrecking yourself." #NASCAR

— NASCAR on SPEED (@NASCARonSPEED) October 21, 2012

Crew chief Greg Zipadelli echoed those same sentiments to her after the wreck, telling his driver, "You know better than to do that."

That's the maddening part of it all.

She has the skill, she has the talent and she knows what she needs to do to win races.

The only thing holding Danica back is Danica.