Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Sports

Lagging Danica tries to stay positive

CONCORD, N.C. — Danica Patrick refuses to get down on herself even though her first full season on the Sprint Cup series has been a struggle.

She is 28th in the point standings after 11 races and has just one top-10 finish, which came in the season-opening Daytona 500.

"It's about keeping your head up and not getting discouraged to the point where it takes away from potential," Patrick said Wednesday. "When you're in a bad mood and you're defeated, I don't think that's going to get you the results you want."

Unlike a year ago, Patrick and her Stewart-Haas Racing team have struggled this season on 1½-mile tracks. That leaves her concerned about Sunday's racing marathon, the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

She knows the 600-mile race means she could fall a few laps down if there aren't a lot of cautions.

"Yeah, it definitely makes you a little worried that if things don't go well they're going to be really bad because you have an extra 100 to 200 miles on the race track," Patrick said.

Then she flashed a positive smile and said, "But then again, it also gives us a chance of turning things around."

Aside from her eighth-place finish at Daytona, Patrick has only one top-15: 12th place at Martinsville. She has been no better than 25th in the other nine races.

Patrick, 31, said the focus has been on finding a good baseline setup for her car, something that has caused the No. 10 Chevy problems this year.

"We went testing a few weeks ago and started a process that we hope will work for us over the next couple of weeks," Patrick said. "If it doesn't work, we'll start over and find a new one."

She hasn't set any goals for her first full season on the Cup series other than to improve every week. Patrick said she's enjoying racing stock cars and the more she's away from open-wheel racing, the less likely she's going back.

"I'm definitely comfortable now" in stock cars, Patrick said. "It probably took until last year when it was full time. I would get in a car for the first time in six weeks and it was like you have one hour to practice before you go qualify and race. That's tough."

Patrick ran on the Nationwide series full time last year and participated in 10 Cup races.

She said she's committed to NASCAR, though she knows there are likely more bumps ahead.

"It's about settling in and figuring things out and finding the areas I need to work on," Patrick said. "But part of this season is having good races and having bad races. It's the first full year."

NASCAR Hall class: Former Cup champion Dale Jarrett and master mechanic Maurice Petty headline the group of five inductees slated to enter the Hall of Fame in January. Dale Jarrett will join his father, Ned, while Maurice becomes the fourth member of the storied Petty family (older brother Richard, father Lee and cousin Dale Inman) to get in. Also going in: Tim Flock, Jack Ingram and "Fireball" Roberts. "I've always felt like it was an honor and a privilege to drive for NASCAR, and this sport has been such a huge part of the Jarrett life," Dale said. "Now to be part of something that my father is a part of, it just means the world to me."

Comments
Rays DFA Rob Refsnyder to make room for Kevin Kiermaier

Rays DFA Rob Refsnyder to make room for Kevin Kiermaier

The Rays made official after Monday's game that CF Kevin Kiermaier would be activated on Tuesday.And to make room on the 40- and 25 man rosters, they designated for assignment OF Rob Refsnyder.Acquired from the Indians for cash considerations just be...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Rays journal: A 4-0 lead disappears in loss at Houston

Rays journal: A 4-0 lead disappears in loss at Houston

HOUSTON — The Rays brought up several of their top prospects so they can get as much experience as possible.And Monday that included seeing how the relentless defending champion Astros worked their way back from an early four-run deficit to sco...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Devil Rays manager Lou Piniella pondered upside-down pitching in 2005

Devil Rays manager Lou Piniella pondered upside-down pitching in 2005

HOUSTON — Well before the idea of using a reliever to open games, as the Rays did against the Astros Monday for the 12th time, and then bringing in a starter was even a gleam in the eyes of the current Rays staff, former manager Lou Piniella wa...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Rays-Astros

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Rays-Astros

RHP Ryne Stanek continues to look comfortable and confident as the game opener, retiring all five batters he faced. His six starts now cover a complete game, and he has allowed only two runs in the nine innings.OF Carlos Gomez's feelings about not li...
Updated: 11 hours ago

Sports on TV/radio for Tuesday, June 19

TODAYBaseballOrioles at Nationals7 p.m.MLBRays at Astros8 p.m.Fox Sun; 620-AMMarlins at Giants10 p.m.FSFDiamondbacks at Angels10 p.m.ESPNCollege baseball, World SeriesFlorida vs. Texas2 p.m.ESPNTexas Tech vs. Arkansas7 p.m.ESPNGolfPGA Professionals c...
Published: 06/18/18
Iceland World Cup Fever … catch it!

Iceland World Cup Fever … catch it!

TAMPA — Iceland isn't what it used to be. Literally. The Nordic island country is shrinking, what with global warming. Iceland's glaciers are getting smaller. If you took all that ice and laid it end to end, well, you clearly have nothing bette...
Published: 06/18/18
For starters: Rays at Astros, trying to stop a streaking champion

For starters: Rays at Astros, trying to stop a streaking champion

UPDATE, 6:40: Cash said he had a good talk with Hechavarria, and that he understood the situation. Cash said Hechavarria will get to play some, and when he does it will be at short. … RHP Chris Archer (abdominal strain) is slated to throw a bul...
Published: 06/18/18
Kevin Kiermaier set to rejoin Rays Tuesday

Kevin Kiermaier set to rejoin Rays Tuesday

CF Kevin Kiermaier is here in Houston and will work out with the Rays today, and said that if all goes well he will be activated on Tuesday.That would be a couple days ahead of his most recent timetable, which had him slated to return to Friday.Kierm...
Published: 06/18/18

Captain’s Corner: Tips on targeting American Red Snapper

American Red Snapper (ARS) season opened a few days ago and some types of bottom are holding bigger schools of ARS then other bottom types. The hard bottom areas that most fishermen prefer are holding large schools of ARS, but the fish have yet to m...
Published: 06/18/18
Barry Trotz resigns as coach of Stanley Cup-winning Capitals

Barry Trotz resigns as coach of Stanley Cup-winning Capitals

Barry Trotz abruptly stepped down as coach of the Washington Capitals on Monday after failing to agree to terms on a new contract, a stunning move that left the newly minted Stanley Cup champions without a coach with the draft later this week and wit...
Published: 06/18/18