x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Danica Patrick admits to struggling with juggling act

Danica Patrick knew this season would be the toughest of her career but the Indycar driver hopes to turn her campaign around at today's Indianapolis 500.

Danica Patrick knew this season would be the toughest of her career but the Indycar driver hopes to turn her campaign around at today's Indianapolis 500. In addition to racing for Andretti Autosport she also signed a deal to race in Nascar's second-tier series part-time for stock car's most popular driver, Dale Earnhardt Jr. She admitted that driving in two different types of cars had proven more difficult than she thought.

"It's definitely the hardest year I've had here at Indy, it's been challenging," said Patrick, the only woman to win an Indycar race. "Throughout this whole year I've really needed to work on keeping my confidence up, because it's been tough. "I thought my Indy car stuff would give me confidence for the Nascar stuff and I would be able to stay happy all the time but, unfortunately, I think it's been a little of the opposite."

After qualifying a disappointing 23rd for this year's race, a frustrated Patrick blasted her team in a trackside interview telling the crowd it was not her fault and for the first time in five years racing at the Brickyard the 28-year-old heard boos. "As quickly as they can go 'boo' they can go 'yeah' and cheer for me just like they did any other year," she said. "They're here for an emotion and I'm giving them something to be emotional about. I hope that Sunday, it's something positive."

At the front Helio Castroneves will go for a record-equalling fourth victory at the Indianapolis 500 today. The Brazilian driver, who starts from pole position, won at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway last year and in 2001 and 2002. If he is triumphant in his Penske today he will match AJ Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears on the record of four wins at the Speedway. A crowd in excess of 300,000 will watch Castroneves look to make history.

* Reuters