2002 Pro/Celeb Race
Race Start Finish Notes
Long Beach 4 Charity race
Second in Pro class to Danica Patrick

The Bet
Article excerpt from ESPNmag.com
    Danica Patrick doesn’t back down on the track – or in the dog-eat-dog pits. The 20-year-old racer couldn’t resist a friendly wager before the Long Beach Pro/Celebrity Race (the undercard to CART’s Long Beach GP). “We made a bet in the drivers’ meeting,” Patrick explains. “I’m sitting next to Tommy Kendall, and he says, ‘Let’s raise the stakes. Whoever wins gets to lead the other down pit lane by a leash and collar.’ ”
    Tommy should have known better.

Long Beach Pro/Celeb (2002)  Long Beach Pro/Celeb (2002)
Left: Following through on the bet with Danica Patrick
Right: With celebrity competitor Mark Paul Gosselaar

The following quotes are from a press conference before the 2003 Long Beach event. Tommy Kendall is moderating the event (the voice of the questions) and he is talking with Champ Car driver Paul Tracy and Toyota Atlantic rookie A.J. Allmendinger. He and A.J. compare their experiences losing to Danica Patrick.

Q. Now, A.J., this time last year I was taking a lot of grief about losing to Danica Patrick.
A.J. ALLMENDINGER: She’s a good driver. But you look better with the collar around your neck more than anything, walking around the pit area with your leash.

Q. Which leads me to my next question which is about Monterrey. What would Paul have to say about getting beaten by Danica? And in all seriousness, advice on what went down in Monterey?
A.J. ALLMENDINGER: I mean, it was just a rookie mistake, not being in the series not racing with the guys, I didn’t expect Luis (Diaz) to break when he did for turn one. And you know, it’s his call, he’s leading the race on turn one, and I just got caught off guard and got caught in the back of him. For me it was still a great weekend because it was the first race with the team, the team’s first race in the series, and I was up in the top two the whole weekend time-wise. And I figured that I could have finished on the podium, and even had a chance to win the race during the race because the car was really good in long runs and if the tires got worn down more.
We had a good day of testing yesterday and I’m really looking forward to Long Beach and continuing the success we started. For Danica’s part, she did a great job. There’s no doubt, a podium in her first race, she made no mistakes all weekend and I give her a lot of credit as I’m sure everybody else did. She’s just another competitor on the track, not that she’s a girl or anything, just another competitor and hey, you got beat by her, too. I mean, you had more experience, a lot more experience, so I don’t know what your excuse was.
PAUL TRACY: Hey, Tommy (Kendall), how come you didn’t use a chrome horn?

Q. She asked me that the other day, she came out early for Long Beach and said: “I’ve been meaning to ask you something, you had that one chance to get rid of me and got caught up in traffic and didn’t.” I didn’t have an answer for her. So I felt much the way you did.