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IndyCar's golden girl needs to cool it

Chris Symeon, Motorsports Editor

The Inside Line Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Danica Patrick's series of on-track confrontations continued on Saturday when she had a tiff with Milka Duno at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, OH . Patrick approached Duno in her pit box after the practice session for Sunday's Honda Indy 200 to complain about the Venezuelan's driving style.

Duno got in Patrick's way several times during practice, which irritated Patrick to the point of making a trip to Duno's pit when the session concluded.

Patrick's brash remarks and Duno's feisty demeanor led to a foul-mouthing, towel-slapping altercation caught on video, a video the IndyCar Series couldn't resist to put on their official website.

"You have no (expletive) idea what you're doing out there," Patrick told Duno during the confrontation. Duno threw a towel at Patrick and then repeatedly asked her to leave. Patrick remained while Duno threw the towel at her again.

Danica Patrick's anger can sometimes get the best of her.
Patrick's disgust towards Duno became more apparent when she began to whine. "What are you doing," Patrick said. "What the hell. You're slow, and you're giving everybody a hard time out there." Duno then walked away from the episode.

Patrick stayed and spoke with Duno's crew members. "I just want to talk to her about it," Patrick said. She eventually walked away.

Sure Patrick wanted to discuss the issue with Duno, and she had every reason to be angry with her. But Patrick, IndyCar's big star, could have handled the situation better.

First of all, Duno is a relative newcomer to the series. She ran a limited schedule last year, making her debut at Kansas. With four masters' degrees to her credit, Duno did not begin her racing career until the age of 24. She is now 36.

Patrick has been a competitor since 2005, scoring one victory and three poles so far. She won in April at Motegi, Japan. Patrick's seniority gives her no right to bully her fellow female competitor.

Duno's comments after the incident brings up another point.

"(Patrick) came to my team and our pit box in a very bad way with bad words," Duno said. "If you come in a nice way, perfect, we can talk."

Let's face it. An on-track incident doesn't always end up with a calm and civil discussion between drivers. In this case, cooler heads didn't prevail as Patrick approached Duno's pit in a tirade and Duno retaliated. With the spotlight constantly on her, especially this episode caught on camera, Patrick should have chosen a different tact.

Patrick's anger can sometimes get the best of her.

In May, Patrick had a confrontation with Ryan Briscoe after Briscoe collided into her on pit lane during the late-stages of the Indianapolis 500. Patrick climbed out of her car and furiously charged towards Briscoe's pit stall. Track security officials had to restrain her.

Patrick also had a run-in with Dan Wheldon last year at Milwaukee. The two made contact in turn one but avoided wrecking. After the race, Patrick approached Wheldon in the pits and shoved him.

As competitive as Patrick is, don't be surprised if we see more confrontations involving the 100-pound driver. Perhaps anger management is on the horizon for her.

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Chris Symeon at csymeon@sportsnetwork.com.

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