Patrick sidesteps questions about future

Aug 27, 2009 - 11:03 PM By ANDREW SELIGMAN AP Sports Writer

JOLIET, Ill.(AP) -- Danica Patrick wouldn't address her future with Andretti Green Racing or the IndyCar series, sidestepping questions Thursday about her expiring contract.

"We've got three races left in the season, and I'm just going to do my best to try to get a win in," Patrick said.

Fifth on the IRL points list entering Saturday's race at Chicagoland Speedway, Patrick is in the final year of a three-year deal with Andretti Green. She finished a season-high third at the Indy 500, the best showing ever by a woman, and is arguably the series' most popular driver.

Racing's unquestioned glamour girl, the 27-year-old Patrick has said she'll wait until the end of the season to solidify her next move.

In response to questions about her contract status and a possible jump to NASCAR, she kept pointing out there are three races left.

Asked about her contract situation, she said: "We've got three races left, and I'm going to do the best I can. And hopefully, we can get a win in."

Is a move to NASCAR still under consideration?

"We've got three races left, and I'm going to do the best job I can to get a win in," Patrick said.

She told before last week's race at Sonoma that "things are going well, and we are definitely moving forward so that is good." Team owner Michael Andretti told The Associated Press then that he was confident Patrick would re-sign, and he reiterated in a phone interview Thursday that they're getting closer to an agreement.

"I think we're getting there," Andretti said.

He remains "hopeful" a deal will be completed and added "so far, there haven't been any surprises" in negotiations.

"We don't have an agreement yet, but we're still working toward one," he said. "That's about all I could say, but it's all positive."

Last week, he hugged Patrick before the start of the 75-lap Sonoma Grand Prix at Infineon Raceway. Then, he watched as she finished 16th following a multi-car crash in the first lap.

Mostly, though, he has seen her continue to progress on the track and away from it and predicted she'll pick up more wins to go with the one at the Indy Japan 300 last year "sooner or later, when we give a car that can do it."

"I think she's just having more fun, so she's showing it when she's out of the car with the fans," Andretti said. "I think it's been really refreshing for her. She's happy. She's just happier. She's released that pressure."

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