With five top-thirty finishes under her belt, you would think that Danica Patrick would have earned some respect in the Sprint Cup Series. Unfortunately for Danica, one driver in particular had some very choice words for her after Sundays race.
A spokesperson for David Gilliland spoke out about Danica’s displeasure for the way Gilliland raced her during the STP 500. The spokesperson identified as Shari Spiewak told the NASCAR rookie of the year contender to “Shut up and race.”
The incident in question happened mid-race as Patrick tried to pass Gilliland on several occasions, every time she got to his bumper and had better momentum coming out of a turn he would just block her, forcing Danica to back off the throttle. She came over the radio moments later complaining to crew chief Tony Gibson:
“He tries to take me out every time. Tell his spotter that I’m coming after him if he does it again. In fact, I might just do it right now.”
Patrick never got a chance to catch Gillialand as she was forced to make an unscheduled pit stop for a piece of debris on the grill of her Go Daddy Chevrolet. She went two laps down, and was never able to recover finishing twenty-fifth – two spots behind David Gilliland.
“We started out pretty good, but we just got tight in the second half of the race. We had a tire rub at one point and issues with the splitter from some contact we made. The trash on the grille was what really hurt us today.”
It will be very interesting to see if Danica Patrick will respond to Gilliland’s shut up and race comment, but with the Sprint Cup series heading to Richmond this weekend, who’s to say she won’t respond on the track instead of off the track. Besides it’s like Gilliland said – “shut up and race”.