Danica Patrick, right, talks with crew chief Tony Eury Jr. on pit road Saturday… (Jeff Zelevansky / Getty…)
Danica Patrick needed a moment to herself following Saturday's Nationwide race at Michigan International Speedway.
She spent most of the afternoon running in the top 10 but wound up finishing in 18th place, her third finish outside of the top 15 in the last five races. After the race, Patrick leaned against the hood of her car with her head in her hands.
Still, she tried to put a positive spin on the situation when talking to reporters.
"Yeah, I am bummed out," said Patrick, who spun three times in the race. "The positive note is I qualified a lot better than I have lately and drove my way back to eighth. We were a top 10 car from [the first spin] on lap 1. There's a lot to be positive about."
After spinning out on the first lap, Patrick was in the top 15 when Austin Dillon got her loose on Lap 104, prompting crew chief Tony Eury Jr. to tell her in the radio, "They hate that you're running this good."
Eury says he echoed the sentiment after the race.
"It's to the point where she's running with the competitive guys," said Eury, who had two long talks with Patrick following the race. "We all have egos. We don't want the girl to outrun us. It's a fact of she's getting put in some situations where she doesn't need put into because they're taking advantage. If she's loose, they'll get up under her right rear or whatever."
Eury said that the best thing for her to do is to fight back.
"There's not a lot of respect for her out there right now," Eury said. "That's been showing over the last couple of weeks. I'm trying to teach her to understand she's got to get the respect somehow. If they keep running over her, she's not going to get that respect."
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