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Auto Racing

Patrick not looking to future

Staff
Published:   |   Updated: March 20, 2013 at 02:47 PM
DAYTONA BEACH -

Danica Patrick remains unaffected by the swirl of speculation that trails her everywhere, saying she has no timetable for making a decision about her racing future.

Patrick reiterated Thursday at Daytona International Speedway that she's in no hurry to choose between IndyCar and NASCAR.

"Whether I'm coming here or not has yet to be signed, sealed and delivered. I might not be," Patrick said before the Nationwide Series practice. "Only time will tell. That timeline on my side of things, I'm really not sure. All I know is that I'm told I have a job to do in the car and you do your job and we'll do our job and they fill me in from time to time. But it's only July."

Patrick's pending decision has been a major topic of conversation all season, much of it coming as she jumped from NASCAR to the IndyCar Series and back again.

Finding success in both series could make her choice even tougher. She was fourth in a Nationwide race at Las Vegas in March, the best finish for a female driver in NASCAR history, and has posted four top-10s in her last five IndyCar events. She also led 10 laps in the Indianapolis 500, a brief stint out front that left her hungry for another shot at open-wheel's showcase event.

"It comes down to my gut and my desire and where I feel like I'll be the happiest and where I feel like I'll be able to have the most success," she said. "And then from those thoughts my team explores the options. But it always starts with where I want to be."

Ochocinco gets a ride

Chad Ochocinco turned to NASCAR on Thursday in his ongoing search for thrills away from the football field.

Ochocinco was strapped in for the ride as Jeff Burton drove his No. 31 car around Atlanta Motor Speedway. Burton estimated he reached speeds of 150 to 160 miles per hour with Ochocinco.

That seemed to satisfy Ochocinco, who climbed out and said "That was nice. That was real nice."

Before the laps, Ochocinco said he made sure Burton was ready to push the Chevrolet.

"I asked him to let loose," Ochocinco said. "Please don't waste my time. Step on the gas."

Ochocinco, the six-time Pro Bowl receiver, is making the most of his extended time away from football during the NFL lockout. He took the ride with Burton about six weeks after visiting the Professional Bull Riders circuit near Atlanta to ride a 1,500-pound bull for 1.5 seconds.

He also has had a soccer tryout with Sporting Kansas City of the MLS and last year was one of the final four contestants in "Dancing With the Stars."

Next? Ochocinco said he plans to wrestle an alligator in Florida.

"If you're not nervous, you're not living," he said. "I'm willing to try everything once."

Burton said he didn't try to scare his passenger on the high-speed turns around the speedway.

"You can't scare him," Burton said. "The man has ridden a bull. He runs routes across the middle of the field. … How do you scare an athlete like that?"

From Tribune wires

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