Danica Patrick bowed out of the Nationwide race at Daytona International Speedway, though it may have been more the result of a rookie mistake than car troubles.
Patrick had her engine shut off in Turn 3 during Saturday’s race. She hat yet to blow an engine, but she figured “that’s exactly how it go.”
So, instead of pulling into her pit box to see if her crew could diagnose and fix the problem quickly, Danica pulled her car into the garage.
A blown engine isn’t fixable, but Patrick’s crew still went to work diagnosing the problem. USA Today reports that Danica Patrick, who thought she was out of the race, had just finished an interview with ESPN when her crew fired up the engine and turned it off again.
To Danica’s horror, it appeared the engine was working perfectly. With a look of shock on her face, the pole sitter for the Daytona 500 walked to the corner of the garage and put her face in her hands.
Appearing to be on the verge of tears, she appeared to wonder if she made a huge mistake by bringing her car to the garage, notes Yahoo! News.
Later on, however, her crew assured her that the problem was likely the entire ignition system, meaning she would have needed to go to the garage anyway. NASCAR stock cars have a backup ignition, but it appeared not to be working. Danica Patrick, who stayed out of the rest of the race, stated of the incident:
“A good lesson that if there was a potential fix at some point, you know you just always go down pit lane and get in your pit box and just do everything possible to fix it.”
Despite being out, Danica Patrick didn’t see the Nationwide race as a complete waste. Instead, she said she will use the experience to prepare for Sunday’s Daytona 500, where she will lead the field to the green flag.