Danica Patrick turned laps around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in a racecar on Tuesday for the first time in more than a year, but this time she had a special passenger. Patrick drove around the 2.5-mile oval in a two-seater version of her No. 7 GoDaddy.com/NASCAR Unites "An American Salute" Chevrolet, with TV personality Katie Couric in the passenger seat. She also gave Couric a tour of IMS.
The laps also served as a fun warm-up for Patrick's official return to the Brickyard when she makes her IMS stock car debut in the Indiana 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race Saturday, July 28 during the Kroger Super Weekend at the Brickyard.
"It feels really good to be at the track," Patrick said. "I enjoyed the laps that I made out there. I really, really enjoyed coming out of Turn 4 and coming down the front straightaway and seeing everything again.
"Obviously, I'm going to be a few inches or feet higher up in the seat from a visual perspective in a stock car, but nothing is going to feel better than to get back out there again," Patrick added. "I fell right into place. I feel so comfortable here and I have such a great emotion just coming into the track that I feel like that helps me overall be better because I feel so good and I feel so positive."
Couric admitted to some nerves, but said she enjoyed the experience.
"I was very, very, very, very, very quiet," Couric said of her initial reaction to the speed and roar of a stock car from the passenger seat. "I was nervous at first, but I had a lot of fun.
"I'm a huge fan of Danica's and have watched her career for many years now, and it was fun for me to get to spend some time with her and learn a little more about what makes her tick and about some of the choices she's made and things she's done in her life. I'm very impressed."