Danica Patrick OK after rock hits her in head

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Danica Patrick says she’s fine after getting hit in the head by a rock on a dirt track.

Patrick got smacked by a stray rock while attending a race Thursday night, leaving her with a sore head. She had a brief conversation with medical staff Friday, but felt no problems.

Patrick says the rock hit her “straight in the head,” and she’s glad she had a hat on or “there would have been blood.”

ANTOHER CHANCE: AJ Allmendinger has a new part-time job with a familiar team.

On Friday, Roger Penske hired the former open-wheel racer to drive two IndyCar races this season including the Indianapolis 500 on May 26. Allmendinger also will compete April 7 in Birmingham, Ala.

It’s a big move for Allmendinger’s career.

NASCAR suspended the driver in July after he failed a random drug test and was released by Penske when a backup “B’’ sample also tested positive for a banned substance. After completing the “Road to Recovery” program, Allmendinger was reinstated in September and finished the season by competing in four Cup races with Phoenix Racing.

“It is exciting to welcome AJ back to Penske Racing,” Roger Penske said in a statement announcing the deal. “He obviously went through a tough time last year but he has done everything he needed to in order to get back to racing at the top level of the sport. We have always believed in AJ and his ability and he deserves this opportunity.”

FORMULA ONE: Settled on a 19-race schedule for the 2013 season.

F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone said last month that the vacant July 21 date on the calendar would not be filled – and that was confirmed at a meeting of the World Motor Sport Council in Geneva on Friday.

Istanbul, dropped from the calendar in 2012 after a disagreement with Ecclestone over hosting fees, had been the leading contender to make it a 20-race season but terms could not be reached.


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