Danica Patrick’s spring session in NASCAR ended with a bang. A big one. And she wasn’t happy about it.
With 53 laps to go in Saturday’s Nationwide race at Bristol Motor Speedway, Patrick made contact with Ryan Truex. Patrick’s car spun hard into the wall – first the nose, then the rear, leaving her with a destroyed race car.
After getting out of her car, Patrick waited for the cars to come back around. When they did, Patrick walked onto the track, located Truex and spread her arms apart as if to say, “What gives?”
“It felt like to me – I came out of the corner I was just running down the straight and it felt like he came off the wall,” said Patrick, who was running 17th at the time, two laps down. “I don’t I know if he had a tank-slap off the wall, like he was pushing up and then it snapped on him and he came off. I don’t know. I don’t know if I may be giving him the benefit of the doubt right there.”
Upon first look it didn’t appear as though Truex did anything wrong. It looked liked Patrick got loose, slipped up the track and into Truex’s rear bumper. But the head-on replay does show Truex turning slightly into Patrick’s lane.
"It was my fault. I guess that's just racing at Bristol," Truex said. "We were racing there and I just came off the corner, got loose, and as I was saving it just came down the hill and got into her. My fault. I mean, I'm sorry. I didn't want for that to happen. I don't know if she thinks I did it on purpose. I guess she's just mad because she was running good. It was an accident. I apologize."
Regardless of fault, it was a tough way for Patrick to end this portion of her Nationwide schedule. She’d finished in the top 20 in her first three races, including a career-best fourth-place run two weeks ago at Las Vegas.
She ended up 33rd at Bristol.
Now, she heads back to her day job in IndyCar. Patrick’s next Nationwide race is June 4 at Chicagoland Speedway.
“I’m just disappointed,” she said. “I felt like this was a pretty decent run at Bristol for the first time. … It’s disappointing to leave for a couple of months with this kind of a thing.”
Kyle Busch won the race, his fourth straight win at Bristol across both the Nationwide and Cup series.