Mar 3, 2013, 5:37 PM EDT
From the looks of replays, the right front tire of Patrick blew out as she was coming out of Turn 4, sending her hard into the end of the SAFER Barrier. She then bounced off and into the oncoming car of Ragan as they both entered the PIR front-stretch.
The impact between Patrick and Ragan inflicted major damage on both their machines, with a wide debris field scattered across the track. NASCAR senior vice president of racing operations Steve O’Donnell confirmed on Twitter that some foam in the SAFER Barrier had to be replaced.
“Whenever those right fronts go, they always feel really hard because you don’t [hit] broadside, you kind of hit more straight-on,” Patrick told FOX Sports after she was checked and released from the infield care center. “I took a hard hit on both sides, but I’m fine.
“…[There was] no real good warning. The car wasn’t all that tight and I was mostly chasing the rear, and there was no vibration that told me…it was gonna happen.”
Patrick was running toward the back of the field at the time of the incident, and had started the race from 40th position.