The league said the probe centers on a dustup that happened during the first day of Saddam's long-awaited trial in Baghdad on Oct. 18.
During a break in the proceedings, the AP reported that Saddam got into a scuffle with his guards as he sought to walk out into a hallway. The AP originally reported that pushing and shoving broke out when the guards tried to grab Saddam's arms to escort him out of the room. Saddam angrily shook off the guards.
The IRL today revealed that Patrick (5-1, 100 pounds) was actually in the middle of the fray.
"It came to our attention that Danica was in the courtroom to confront Saddam about not using his head and getting a lot of people killed with the way he was running the country," said an IRL insider. "Danica felt that clearly Saddam let his regime drift high and cause many deaths. When she confronted him, things just got out of hand."
"This little American woman, she slapped me," said Saddam. "It's not bad enough she drives a car and poses without many clothes on, but to come here and poke me in the head and say, 'use this' is too much."
Saddam admitted to being an admirer of Danica's photos during his long jail confinement. When he originally saw Danica, he thought she was there to observe the trial, or perhaps scout a location for an IRL race in Iraq in 2006. "I read they have some openings on the schedule, so I thought perhaps she was making a day of it. In fact, I had my Sharpie out because I thought maybe she wanted me to sign something for her." The dictator was apparently taken aback when Danica "got all up in my grill."
Danica, who got into a similar altercation with Jaques Lazier after crashing during a race in California on Oct. 16, said the incident was overblown. "So, Saddam is saying he got beat up by a girl now?" she said. "It's no wonder he goes from jail cell to jail cell all the time."
A league insider said any sort of meaningful fine or sanction against Patrick was unlikely. "Punish Danica? I mean, who are we kidding here?"
In other news, the league is reportedly put out feelers to former IRL driver Sarah Fisher to see if she'd be willing to go a few rounds with Danica after the 2006 race at Texas Motor Speedway. "Nothing holds a crowd like two chicks battling it out inside a chain-link cage" said one promoter. The league was apparently playing a tape of Danica saying Fisher "has trouble with the racing part of it" over and over to try and enrage Sarah. No word yet on if the effort was succeeding.