INDIANAPOLIS — Danicamania has returned to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
A week after fans booed the popular driver, track security had to turn folks away from a Danica Patrick autograph session at the track Saturday.
Fans turned on Patrick after she blamed a poor qualifying run on her crew and the car's setup during an interview that was broadcast over the track's public address system.
On Saturday, however, there were plenty of fans who wanted a chance to meet her. She had one of the longest lines, rivaled only by defending Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves. In fact, lines for the two most popular IndyCar drivers were so long that security cut them off well before the autograph session's 9 a.m. start time.
And when Patrick was introduced during the drivers' meeting, the cheers for her were among the loudest.
Brian Barnhart wants Sunday's Indianapolis 500 to live up to its name — "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing."
The IndyCar Series president of competition and racing operations wants the drivers in 11 rows of three during the three laps preceding the start of Sunday's race.
"I want to return to the spectacle and beauty of the field of 33 preparing for the greatest race in the world," he said, to loud cheers, during the drivers' meeting. "I want to see 11 rows of three for three laps, not single file for 2 1/2 laps."
Barnhart said each row should remain 100 feet apart until the green flag. He reminded the drivers of the purpose for the three laps.
"Remember, they're called parade laps, and parade laps are to thank the fans," he said. "The fans will be waving to you. Wave back."
Paul Tracy promised to come back to the Brickyard for the 500 even though the outspoken Canadian driver failed to qualify.
He kept his promise, but not after a little passport trouble back in Toronto that included a startling confession.
To get his passport renewed, Tracy needed a new picture. He pulled into a camping store to get it taken care of when he and the store clerk started talking.
The clerk recognized Tracy and asked him if he remembered having a dirt motorbike stolen back in 1986. Tracy thought for a moment before nodding his head.
"I said, 'I did get a dirt bike stolen out of my garage like 25 years ago,'" Tracy said. "The guy goes, 'Yeah, my buddy did it. I'm sorry. I just couldn't keep it inside.'"
Tracy's response to the clerk's light-fingered friend?
"Tell him he can keep it," Tracy said with a laugh.
For the first time, a two-seat passenger car will join the 33 starting drivers.
Michael Andretti will drive, and actor Mark Wahlberg will ride along. The two-seater will be in front of the pace car. Andretti is to accelerate and catch up with the back of the field on the second parade lap and exit before the green flag.
AP Sports Writer Will Graves contributed to this report.