Danica Patrick‘s Indianapolis return is not what she had hoped, because of an uncooperative race car and contact with Reed Sorenson on lap 39, which sent both cars into the Turn 1 wall.
Yahoo News reports that, despite Patrick’s car not turning like she wanted, her crew chief, Tony Eury Jr., told her:
“We were running 53-flats [seconds per lap] all day [Thursday]. Now we’re running 54.30s. Make something happen.”
But it wasn’t meant to be, and just a few laps later, her lime green No. 7 Chevrolet costed her her first return to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway since she last attempted the Indianapolis 500 in 2011.
Danica Patrick made contact with Sorenson’s car on Lap 39, sending both cars into the wall, with Patrick’s JR Motorsports car taking the worst of the impact. immediately after her car stopped, she stated, “It’s done. I can’t drive it.” She was checked at the infield medical center after the wreck, then released with a clean bill of health. The Nationwide rookie stated:
“I’m fine. It’s just unfortunate for our day. It’s a big race, a big weekend and a track I wish I would have done well at. I got in the center of the corner and got pretty close and I just tapped him. I’m pretty sure he was slowing down quite a bit so I didn’t mean to take him out. I don’t know if he’s still going or not, but I’m sorry if I did anything.”
According to The Indy Star, Patrick wasn’t sure if the crash was her fault or Sorenson’s, but said, “I got close. I might have tapped him, I’m not sure.” Reed Sorenson, on the other hand, was very sure. He explained that:
“She hit us, so it definitely is too close. I thought I had it saved, but it’s hard to save a car at Indy when you get bumped going into Turn 1.”
Danica Patrick was disappointed with her 35th place finish in the inaugural Nationwide Indianapolis race, feeling like she let her team down with the wreck. She added:
“I just feel really bad. Everyone works really hard. I haven’t been able to get the finishes with the team that they deserve, so hopefully I can start doing that.”
Are you disappointed that Danica Patrick crashed in the inaugural running of the Indiana 250 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway?