Skip to content

Danica contends again at Daytona until last-lap wreck

Jul 7, 2013, 1:54 AM EDT

Danica Patrick AP

It would appear that the Daytona 500 wasn’t a fluke after all for Danica Patrick.

Back in the February season-opener, the Sprint Cup rookie was a threat to win on the final lap before settling for an eighth-place finish. And tonight’s Coke Zero 400 at Daytona brought more confirmation that she has a firm grip on restrictor-plate racing, as she rose as high as second and stayed in the lead pack in the race’s second half.

Unfortunately for her, a potential Top-10 run was scratched in the final moments as she and David Gilliland made contact. Patrick was turned around and a multi-car crash in the tri-oval began as Jimmie Johnson took the checkered flag just ahead.

After the incident, Patrick explained that she was looking to follow Dale Earnhardt Jr. to the finish.

“Junior and I had a good run through the middle and then up high around [Turn] 4,” said Patrick, who was credited with an 14th place finish. “It felt like I ran just along the wall but it could have been me that came down in front of the No. 38 [Gilliland].

“It definitely wasn’t what I was trying to do at all. I was just following the No. 88 [Earnhardt]. So, if that’s what happened, then I definitely apologize. I lost spots doing it.”

Patrick fell back in tonight’s early stages but caught a break that enabled her to get into the Top 10 by pitting just before a caution came out on Lap 71. She moved into the Top 5 after another set of yellow-flag stops around Lap 100, and at Lap 108, she was running right behind Johnson.

Following through on her intent to be more aggressive in her Daytona return, Patrick hooked onto the back of Earnhardt during the green-white-checkered finish (which she started from ninth position). She found herself sliding across the finish line in the end, but that didn’t cause her to second-guess her decision, however.

When the checkered flag is looming, it’s every driver for themselves, after all.

“You’ve got to do what you’ve got to do on those last laps,” she said.

Latest Posts
  1. ARCA: Justin Allison continues family tradition, wins at Pocono

    Aug 1, 2014, 9:40 PM EDT

    ARCA_logo

    The next generation of stock car racing’s fabled Alabama Gang has now officially arrived.

  2. NASCAR: Pistone, Gaughan go P1 in Nationwide practice at Iowa

    Aug 1, 2014, 8:49 PM EDT

    Ollie's Bargain Outlet 250 - Qualifying Getty Images

    Chase Pistone tops Practice 1, while Brendan Gaughan is fastest in Practice 2 for tomorrow night’s Nationwide Series race.

  3. Jeff Gordon rolling along, but still keeping an eye on his back

    Aug 1, 2014, 8:08 PM EDT

    GoBowling.com 400 - Qualifying Getty Images

    The Sprint Cup championship leader admits that his back may never “be the same” after suffering spasms in May at Charlotte.

  4. NASCAR: John Wes Townley out of tomorrow’s Truck race after ARCA crash

    Aug 1, 2014, 7:11 PM EDT

    UNOH 225 Getty Images

    Townley has been released from a local hospital after a hard wreck in ARCA qualifying this morning, but he will not race in tomorrow’s Pocono Mountains 150 for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

  5. NASCAR AMERICA: Friday Round-Up (VIDEO)

    Aug 1, 2014, 6:45 PM EDT

    NASCAR America

    Will the 11 team adapt to interim crew chief Mike Wheeler? Plus, Kyle Petty shares his Victory Lane predictions for Sunday’s GoBowling.com 400 at Pocono.

  6. Will Kahne be able once again at Pocono? (VIDEO)

    Aug 1, 2014, 6:12 PM EDT

    GoBowling.com 400 - Practice Getty Images

    One year ago, Kahne effectively put himself into the Chase with a win at Pocono. Another win on Sunday at the Tricky Triangle could do it again.

  7. Kyle Larson bags first career Sprint Cup pole at Pocono

    Aug 1, 2014, 5:12 PM EDT

    GoBowling.com 400 - Practice Getty Images

    Is his first career Sprint Cup win not too far off? Larson’s lap of 183.438 mph is enough to earn pole position for Sunday’s GoBowling.com 400.

  8. WATCH LIVE: NASCAR AMERICA at 5 p.m. ET

    Aug 1, 2014, 4:45 PM EDT

    NASCAR America

    Coming up today: Kasey Kahne on his hunt for a Chase-clinching win; expectations for Denny Hamlin’s interim crew chief; Dale Jr. and IndyCar’s Graham Rahal visit National Guard soldiers; the many nuances of Pocono Raceway; Ty Dillon looks back on an extraordinary weekend at Indy.

  9. NASCAR: Kyle Larson, Timothy Peters tops in Pocono Truck practice

    Aug 1, 2014, 3:43 PM EDT

    Kyle Larson AP

    Larson and Peters go 1-2 in the first Truck practice, then flip-flop in the second practice at Pocono.

  10. NASCAR AMERICA Minute: What makes Pocono unique? (VIDEO)

    Aug 1, 2014, 3:30 PM EDT

    Pocono 400 Getty Images

    Former Pocono winner Kyle Petty explains the aspects that set Pocono apart from the rest of NASCAR’s tracks.

  11. Bourdais on top in second IndyCar practice

    Aug 1, 2014, 3:10 PM EDT

    Sebastien Bourdais AP

    Toronto winner leads second practice for the Verizon IndyCar Series on Friday.

  12. Kenseth: Not having crew chief at track is like “missing your head coach”

    Aug 1, 2014, 2:15 PM EDT

    Crown Royal Presents The John Wayne Walding 400 - Practice Getty Images

    Kenseth’s teammate, Denny Hamlin, does not have regular crew chief Darian Grubb behind him this weekend, as Grubb has begun serving his six-race suspension.

  13. F1 2014 mid-season report: The story so far and the story to come

    Aug 1, 2014, 1:30 PM EDT

    Austria F1 GP Auto Racing AP

    In the final part of our 2014 mid-season review, we look at the storylines that have defined the season so far and take a look at what we may be talking about come the end of the year.

  14. Dale Jr., Johnson looking forward to working with Greg Ives in 2015

    Aug 1, 2014, 1:15 PM EDT

    GregIvesCrop Getty Images

    Ives has won multiple Sprint Cup titles as an engineer for Jimmie Johnson, but will be making his Cup debut as a crew chief when he joins forces with Dale Earnhardt Jr. next season.

  15. Study: NASCAR drivers, CEOs share similar talents

    Aug 1, 2014, 1:00 PM EDT

    nascarlogo

    NASCAR drivers are known for trading paint, spinning out rivals and are seemingly always ready for a fight. And those are just some of the same elements that NASCAR drivers share with CEO’s of some of the best middle-market companies, according to a new story.

  16. NASCAR: Kurt Busch tops Friday Cup practice at Pocono

    Aug 1, 2014, 12:45 PM EDT

    Crown Royal Presents The John Wayne Walding 400 - Practice Getty Images

    Busch posts a lap of 180.353 mph around the 2.5-mile Tricky Triangle.

  17. JTG Daugherty creates new ‘rewards program’ for fans

    Aug 1, 2014, 12:30 PM EDT

    jtg daugherty logo

    Much like a frequent flier or frequent hotel guest program, JTG Daugherty has created the first ‘rewards program’ for fans to earn awards and prizes using engagement with the team and its sponsors through social media.

  18. F1 2014 mid-season report: Grading the drivers so far

    Aug 1, 2014, 12:00 PM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Hungary Getty Images

    In part two of our mid-season report, we look at the drivers: who has excelled and who has floundered in 2014?

  19. Chip Ganassi to be honored for achievements in his racing career

    Aug 1, 2014, 11:34 AM EDT

    ToyotaCare 250 Getty Images

    Multi-motorsports team owner Chip Ganassi will be honored August 7 in Corning, N.Y., for more than a quarter-century of contributions to the auto racing world.

  20. Austin Dillon goes from hot asphalt to cold steel on ice

    Aug 1, 2014, 11:15 AM EDT

    Jeff Foxworthy's Grit Chips 300 - Qualifying Getty Images

    Austin Dillon isn’t skating through his rookie season in Sprint Cup. Everything he achieves, he earns. But Dillon did try skating of a different kind and took to it like a natural.