“He’s going to actually say he got beat up by a girl?” Patrick, however, did verbally beat up Lazier at the post-race news conference. “Lazier was a problem all day. He’s been a problem for years,” Patrick said. She then went after Chip Ganassi, the owner of Lazier’s car who criticized Patrick during the television broadcast. “Yeah, OK. I think they’ve crashed every race,” she said. Lazier didn’t show any physical signs of the altercation as he stood outside his team’s hauler, where he met up with his family. “It’s hugely misplaced at this level of racing to have an attitude like that,” Lazier said. “The only thing I can say is she’s thinks she’s Showtime. She’s been on Letterman and all that other stuff. “I guess she thinks she’s bigger than the whole rest of the series.” Much has been expected of Patrick since she led the Indy 500 en route to a fourth-place showing in May, the highest finish by a woman in race history. Her best finish since then was seventh in Nashville in July, but she did set a rookie record for poles with three. “I didn’t deserve to end the season this way,” said Patrick, who will accept the IRL’s Rookie of the Year Award at a banquet tonight in Los Angeles. A.J. Perez can be reached at (562) 499-1338. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week “My son hits harder than she does,” chided Lazier, whose son Kayden is 4. Lazier, a resident of Rancho Cucamonga, didn’t offer any more details and said he’s going to let IRL officials handle it. “There are two sides to every story,” IRL spokesman John Griffin said. “We will investigate.” The other side denies anything actually took place. “I didn’t do that,” said Patrick, who was ninth at the time of the accident. “No. No. I yelled at him. I definitely yelled at him, but I didn’t punch him. FONTANA — Danica Patrick didn’t hold back words or apparently one of her fists after she got tangled up with Jaques Lazier late in Sunday’s Toyota Indy 400 at California Speedway. “The first person I saw after the accident was Jaques, and that wasn’t a good thing,” said Patrick, who blamed Lazier for the Turn 2 mishap that knocked both drivers from the race with 15 laps remaining. “I confronted him. I told him how I felt. I was mad at him.” Patrick evidently took it up a notch sometime during the ride to the infield care center in the back of an IRL safety team vehicle. This paper has learned the 23-year-old IRL rookie sensation struck Lazier in the face. The driver of the SUV had to stop briefly to tend to the situation, which reverted to verbal sparring as they circled the track.