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Ricky Stenhouse Jr. on what he likes about girlfriend Danica Patrick: ‘She’s hot’

Danica Patrick Ricky Stenhouse JrIs Ricky Stenhouse Jr. the secret to Danica Patrick’s success? Or does she have a great car?

Patrick won the pole for the Daytona 500 next weekend, becoming the first woman to win the pole in NASCAR’s top division. Her lap at 196.434 mph helped her gain the pole for the Great American Race.

On Thursday, NASCAR held its media day as it prepared to open up the new season of racing. Patrick’s relationship with Stenhouse has been the talk of the sport over the past month, and Stenhouse answered questions about it.

When asked what he liked about Patrick, the back-to-back Nationwide Series winner had a simple answer: “She’s hot,” he said.

Stenhouse is 25 and a rookie in the Sprint Cup Series. Patrick, 30, is also a rookie in the Sprint Cup Series, though she has raced in it 10 times.

Patrick announced in November that she would be divorcing husband Paul Edward Hospenthal after seven years of marriage. Stenhouse and Patrick revealed last month that they are dating.

“Media day, we knew the story was going to be about us,” Stenhouse said Sunday, per Bob Pockrass of Sporting News. “That was really kind of the biggest thing going into this week. But now that we’re on the racetrack and we’ve got races under our belt, … hopefully we can talk about things on the racetrack and that’s what we’re here for.

“We’re here to race. Hopefully we can put all our focus on that and go for it.”

Stenhouse was No. 12 in qualifying.

Jeff Gordon fined $100,000 for going nuts on Clint Bowyer (Video)

Jeff Gordon was fined $100,000 and docked 25 Sprint Cup points on Monday for intentionally wrecking Clint Bowyer during Sunday’s AdvoCare 500 in Phoenix.

Gordon was running 20th with two laps to go when he decided to bump Bowyer, causing the No. 15 car to spin out. Bowyer slipped to a 28th-place finish while Gordon was 30th. Being spun out was also costly for Bowyer, who dropped to fourth in the Sprint Cup standings, 52 points behind Brad Keselowksi entering Sunday’s finale at Homestead.

The best part about wrecking Bowyer and causing the ensuing brawl is that Gordon didn’t regret any of it.

“Things have gotten escalated over the year and I have just had it. Clint (Bowyer) has run into me numerous times, wrecked me and he got into me on the back straightaway, pretty much ruined our day. I have had it, was fed up with it and got him back,” Gordon said.

Some people thought Gordon’s actions were in pretty poor taste, but not us. They were awesome. Any time a full-on brawl like that is incited, we’re definitely fans. Seriously, when’s the last time you saw a pit-clearing brawl among drivers and their teams? And what about Bowyer literally sprinting through the track to the garage to get in on the action? How great was that?

This was just a priceless moment in NASCAR history. Gordon shouldn’t be embarrassed; he should be proud.

Landon Cassill: Danica Patrick was ‘driving like a maniac’

Danica Patrick traded paint with fellow driver Landon Cassill on Sunday at Kansas Speedway and lost. Fighting for position near the rear of the field in the middle of the race, Patrick admitted it was “frustration” that caused her to get tangled up with Cassill but resulted in her wrecking her own car. Cassill says he was baffled by Patrick’s racing style.

“It’s still halfway through the race,” Cassill said according to FOX Sports. “(Patrick) is starting behind me, and she makes it three-wide going into (Turn) 1. I was wondering what the hell she was doing. Then she’s holding us all up. … She was crowding me … It’s not how you race for 30th on Lap 150 or whatever lap it was. I got her loose and then door-checked her down the front stretch.

“I didn’t hit her because she was in the way. I hit her because she was driving like a maniac for 30th when the race was playing into all our favors. … All we had to do was let the race come into our hands and not wreck ourselves in the process.”

Cassill acknowledged that his car wasn’t as fast as he would have liked all afternoon, but he felt that there was no need for Danica to be driving that aggressively with so much race left. Patrick said Cassill hit her earlier in the race and that she needs to stand up for herself when something like that happens multiple times, but she admitted her execution was poor.

“If it’s one time, I can imagine it’s frustration, but it’s been quite a few times with him,” Patrick explained. “At some point I have to stand up for myself, so this doesn’t happen with other people. I chose today. The bummer about it is that my car is out, and he’s still out there going, so I’ve got to work on how to do that.”

Danica finished 32nd and destroyed the car that her team intended to use at another race in two weeks. We have seen some examples of Patrick’s temper in the past, but obviously she would have been better off trying to control it on Sunday. Cassill finished 18th, so he clearly got the last laugh.

Tony Stewart grabs Kevin Harvick’s wife’s behind (Picture)

Tony Stewart has a pre-race ritual where he grabs someone’s behind for good luck, and Kevin Harvick’s wife was the victim on Sunday before the Geico 400 at Chicagoland.

Doug Demmons of The Birmingham News says that Stewart frequently grabs the behind of DeLana Harvick before races. DeLana apparently even said on the radio that she is on the lookout to avoid the grab so that she doesn’t give Stewart luck.

Harvick must have let her guard down on Sunday, because as you can see in the video above, Stewart got her.

Stewart is good friends with the Harvicks and drove for their teams many years at Daytona until they shut down the team, so he obviously feels comfortable enough to cross what would otherwise be considered a boundary for a married woman.

DeLana later tweeted about the grab and seemed to find it funny:

Here’s another look at the grab:

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Tony Stewart throws helmet at Matt Kenseth after wreck (Video)

Tony Stewart was fuming after wrecking during Saturday’s Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol, Tenn., and he showed his displeasure with Matt Kenseth by throwing his helmet at the No. 17 car.

Stewart and Kenseth were battling for the lead on lap 332 when Kenseth slid up and made contact with the No. 14 car. Stewart moved down on the track and continued the contact with Kenseth until both cars crashed.

Stewart was so upset with Kenseth that he chucked his helmet at the No. 17 car as Kenseth was making his way down pit road.

Stewart, a three-time Sprint Cup winner, is known for speaking his mind and lacking a filter, so the reaction was hardly surprising. It was actually pretty awesome.

Stewart then promised to run over Kenseth every chance he gets.

“We weren’t that great of a race car,” Stewart said during interviews, per FOXSports.com. “But we were definitely faster than that after that restart. I checked up twice to not run over him (Kenseth), and I learned my lesson there. I’m going to run over him every him every chance I’ve got from now ‘til the end of the year, every chance I’ve got.”

Danica Patrick runs into shoe, finishes 27th (Video)

Danica Patrick was leading the NAPA Auto Parts 200 in Montreal on Saturday until encountering a most unusual obstacle. Someone actually threw a shoe onto the track from the infield, and Patrick, who led 20 laps and was leading at the time, ran into it.

Patrick knew immediately that her steering was off, but her problems didn’t truly set in until she broke an axle later in the race.

“How disappointing! What can I say?” Patrick said after the race, according to the Associated Press. “We’ve got to get some luck sometime. At the end of the day, I just can’t believe how unlucky we’ve been. It’s got to come.”

Patrick finished 27th while Justin Allgaier claimed victory. But a shoe is what threw her off? A shoe? Seriously? I’m just glad she managed to avoid the banana peels and Koopa shells.

Regan Smith’s car in the Brickyard 400 will honor Aurora shooting victims

Sprint Cup Series driver Regan Smith will pay tribute to the victims of last week’s senseless tragedy in Aurora, Colo., by driving a custom version of his No. 78 car in Sunday’s Brickyard 400 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Among the design features on the black Chevy’s exterior are a blue ribbon on the hood, “Aurora, CO” and the names of the 12 victims on the rear quarterpanels, and the message “For Those Lost, Those Injured and Countless Acts of Bravery 7/20/12″ on the back. Smith’s team, Furniture Row Racing, is based in Denver.

Last Friday, the day of the shooting, we saw another respectful tribute to the victims when the Denver Nuggets’ summer league team wore black headbands for their contest against the Trail Blazers’ squad.

H/T From the Marbles