By Jimmy Golen
AP Sports Writer
BOSTON (AP) — Danica Patrick emerged from some recent fan encounters with a couple of bruises: One resulted in a swollen ring finger after a girl shook her hand too enthusiastically, and another left its mark on her image.
The 35-year-old NASCAR star said Wednesday that she “had a moment” when she cursed out a booing fan after qualifying for last week’s race.
“In a perfect world, I would have never walked over there and I’d have just kept going,” she said during a previously scheduled promotional tour in Boston. “That’s mostly what I do, every single day, if someone boos me, is you just keep walking.
“But every now and again they just catch you in a moment. And I had a moment.”
In a video that went viral after the race in Pocono, Pennsylvania, Patrick stormed over to the fan and said: “I’m a person, too. I have feelings. When you boo me, it hurts my feelings.”
She explained during a stop at the “Cheers” bar to promote next month’s New Hampshire 301 that a fan in Pocono had gone through the security cordon in an attempt to get her autograph.
“I didn’t feel it was right to honor that person for disrespecting the security guard and trying to get past him by signing his stuff,” she said. “So I was put in this awkward situation.”
On Wednesday, Patrick tried to turn the jeers to Cheers.
During a student-guided tour designed to focus on influential women in history, Patrick shook or slapped every hand that was held out to her in Boston, and signed dozens of autographs for the students or other tourists who approached her along the way.
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