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Friday, July 27, 2012

My advice to Danica Patrick: Forget about the Indy 500, focus on improving results in NASCAR

Danica Patrick is not even racing full-time in Cup yet, and the talk has already begun about her doing the Indy 500 again.

She said this week that in 2013, it’s possible that she’ll try to do the double – Indy 500 and Coke 600.

"OK, so the Indy 500 next year, I would love to do it," she said. "I've said that all along. I love the track, I love the race. I've had I feel like I've had really good races. I feel like it was always one of my strongest races of the year in IndyCar, so I feel like that's something I would like to do, and maybe it will happen, maybe it won't, but I can tell you the only way it's going to happen if it's with someone I really feel I can have a shot to go out there and win because it's unfair to the history I've had here and to my memory to do anything less than that."

My advice to Danica; Look forward, don’t look back.

You’ve run the Indy 500 plenty of times. You never won. You led some laps and it kick-started your career, but really, you didn’t contend that often.

What are the odds you’ll win in a one-off return to Indycar? Not high. The usual Ganassi and Penske cars will likely dominate the race as usual.

Even more important, think about what’s important – your future. You want to be a Cup star, you have to start performing better in your Cup races; a lot better in fact.

Getting distracted by an Indy 500 media sideshow isn’t going to help you focus on the task at hand – getting better in NASCAR.

So while I understand the desire to return to your roots and run the Indy 500 next year or in future years (I know, it’s the biggest race of the year still in your mind, and you really want to win it. I get it), my advice is to let it go.

You have a new job now; you race in NASCAR. Monkeying around with that will only divert you from your future in the sport you’ve chosen.

Doing the double will get you on TV a lot, but the results – in both races – would likely be lackluster. Focus on Charlotte and you might run well in the 600.

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