Danica Patrick said she had no warning before she cut a tire on lap 184 of the Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on Sunday and crashed hard into the SAFER Barrier on the outside of turn four.
The No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet SS then bounced off the wall and was hit in the driver’s side by the oncoming car of David Ragan, who had nowhere to go. The Stewart-Haas Racing rookie finished 39th of the 43 Sprint Cup drivers in the field.
“There was no real warning,” Patrick said Sunday night in a team press release. “I wasn’t that tight, either; I was sliding a little bit. I felt like most of the day I was chasing the rear. It was a little unexpected. I took a hard hit to the right and then on the left. I’m fine. The cars and the tracks are so safe.
“As a driver that’s a nice feeling. It doesn’t change the fact that we aren’t going to get any points, really, coming out of today, and it would have been nice. These points in the beginning of the year are so important. We were making progress, but unfortunately our day ended early. I feel bad for Go Daddy – this is their home race. Obviously, I wish would we could have had a better run.”
Roush Fenway driver Carl Edwards broke a 70-race winless streak when he took the checkered flag and the victory after a green-white-checkered finish. Jimmie Johnson, winner of the season-opening Daytona 500 last weekend, was second, followed by Denny Hamlin, Brad Keselowski and Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was the top rookie in the race, an honor that went to Patrick in last week’s Daytona 500 season opener.
Johnson leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup point standings by eight points over Earnhardt, his Hendrick Motorsports teammate.
The NASCAR drivers will next head to Las Vegas for Sunday's running of the Kobalt Tools 400.