Danica happy finishing sixth

DEAN MCNULTY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:58 PM ET

INDIANAPOLIS — Danica Patrick pulled out a sixth-place finish Sunday in the Indianapolis 500 that more than made up for a month from hell for the 28-year-old racing star.

Patrick came to Indy in the midst of a slump that culminated in her being booed by fans after she called out her team for her poor qualifying session.

She started 23rd Sunday— by far her worst grip position in five years at Indy.

Yesterday she gave credit to the same crew she had earlier criticized.

“I’m very happy with the result,” she said. “And the reason we got it was because our pit stops rocked and the team had perfect strategy.”

The three other girls in Sunday race — Simona de Silvestro, Ana Beatriz and Sarah Fisher — finished 14th, 21st and 26th respectively.

Numbers game

Montreal’s Alex Tagliani was happy that he was able to get the No. 77 for his FAZZT Racing team’s Honda-powered Dallara at the beginning of the 2010 IndyCar season.

Tagliani is an admittedly a “seriously superstitious” athlete who has all kinds of rituals he goes through, including not pouring his own coffee, on race day.

So he nervous after being told that what he thought was his lucky number was one of 14 car numbers that have never won the Indianapolis 500. Other numbers that have never won: 10, 11, 19, 21, 22, 29, 33, 37, 43, 67, 78, 99 and 06.

Cars with No. 3 lead with the most wins at 11.

There was no word from Tagliani whether he would seek to change his number for next year.

Adrenaline junkie

Two-time Super Bowl winner Jim Burt, a nose tackle who played for both the New York Giants and the San Fancisco 49ers, watched his first Indy 500 on Sunday and came away impressed.

“Love it here and get the feeling this is like home,” he said. “I’m an adrenaline guy. I was an undersized player when I played, so I played on adrenaline. I was 260 pounds playing against guys 310. I like the adrenaline rush that I got (at Indy).”

It hurts so good

Rookie Sebastian Saavedra crashed his No. 29 hard into the wall at IMS but the joy of just being part of the Indy 500 appears to have cushioned the blow.

The nineteen-year-old native of Bogata, Colombia, described wrecking his No. 29 Bryan Herta Racing machine like he had just scored a gold in the World Cup.

“The crash that I had is something that I will never forget,” he said. “Being in the Indianapolis 500 is something truly remarkable.”

Didn’t it hurt?

“Nah, at least not right now. Maybe tomorrow.”


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