Is there a fierce rivalry brewing between two of NASCAR's most popular drivers?
Here's the video proof.
How did it happen? Well, the answer is pretty simple. Earnhardt Jr. had been struggling with a brake issue throughout the evening. The problem made slowing down in the corners a challenge; so much of one that he even hit the wall to bring out a caution flag earlier in the race.
His entry into the corner before hitting Patrick looked very similar to his previous single-car incident though Patrick had very little empathy immediately after the incident.
Danica Patrick radios team to tell Dale Earnhardt Jr. to "go f*** yourself." #NASCAR
Danica is still not happy and has a suggestion for Dale Jr.: "Pick another lane, maybe."
— Jeff Gluck (@jeff_gluck) July 12, 2015
She also showed her displeasure with Junior by bumping him as the two pulled onto pit road after the accident.
After the race, Junior explained what happened during the incident with Patrick and apologized. He was also completely aware of the NASCAR headlines he created with the crash.
"[The brakes] got worse and worse and worse and I probably shouldn’t have been racing as hard as I was when we ran into the back of Danica," Junior said. "But I went into that corner and mashed the brakes to the floor. I pumped it three times all the way to the floor and then ran into her. There wasn’t anything I could do. It sucks. I don’t like running into Danica because it gets a little too much attention, but I’m sorry for that.
Junior finished 21st while Patrick finished 34th.
Will Patrick race Junior a little harder the next time the two are near each other as payback? Possibly. But given that Junior didn't run into her on purpose, we'll be incredibly surprised if it goes any further than that.
- - - - - - -