Talladega trouble for Danica Patrick and Travis Pastrana

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Danica Patrick and Travis Pastrana, two of the bigger names in today’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Talladega Superspeedway, were unable to have a say in the outcome of the race.

Patrick started in Row 2 and went into the race as a potential threat for the win. But on Lap 14, she was spun out by drafting partner and rookie teammate Kyle Larson. She went into the wall and then down the track for a spin through the soggy grass below Turn 3, and shortly afterwards, she was forced to retire from the No. 34 Turner Scott Motorsports Chevrolet for a 39th-place result.

As for Pastrana, who earned his first career NASCAR pole for the race on Friday afternoon, he was running a steady race until Lap 71. While on the backstretch, Brian Scott turned around Reed Sorenson, who then went right into Pastrana as he attempted to avoid him.

The impact lifted Sorenson’s rear wheels off the ground momentarily before he came back down, while Pastrana shot up the track and smashed into the Turn 3 wall. Both of them finally came to rest inside the Turn 3 grass.

After being released from the infield care center, Pastrana was hard on himself. The action sports legend told ESPN that “[he] just [got] an award for being stupid” and predicted that on Monday, team owner Jack Roush would “say ‘You guys had the two fastest cars and you should’ve put them 1-2.'”

“And we doggone should have put ’em 1-2,” a disgusted Pastrana added.

F1 2017 driver review: Kimi Raikkonen

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Kimi Raikkonen

Team: Scuderia Ferrari
Car No.: 7
Races: 20
Wins: 0
Podiums: 7
Best Finish: P2 (Monaco, Hungary)
Pole Positions: 1
Fastest Laps: 2
Points: 205
Laps Led: 40
Championship Position: 4th

While this may have statistically been Kimi Raikkonen’s best campaign since his first year back in F1 in 2012, there is a good case for it being one of his most disappointing to date.

Raikkonen’s continued role at Ferrari has been questioned on a number of occasions, but the Finn looked capable of answering his critics heading into 2017 after impressing through pre-season testing as he appeared to get to grips well with the new-style cars.

But we soon grew accustomed to the same old story: flashes of potential, but otherwise an underwhelming, unsatisfactory campaign that saw Raikkonen be dwarfed by his teammate, Sebastian Vettel.

Raikkonen’s charge to his first pole position for over eight years in Monaco gave hope of a popular win, only for Ferrari to play its strategy in favor of title contender Vettel – why wouldn’t the team do so? – to leave him a disgruntled second.

While Vettel was able to impress at the majority of circuits, Raikkonen only looked strong at tracks that were unquestionably ‘Ferrari’ tracks, such as Hungary and Brazil. Like Vettel, Raikkonen should have racked up a good haul of points in Singapore, only for the start-line crash to sideline both Ferraris before they even reached Turn 1.

Again there is the question of ‘what could have been?’ in Malaysia had it not been for the spark plug issue on the grid, yet in Japan, Raikkonen was nowhere, finishing behind the Mercedes and Red Bulls.

Finishing just five points clear of Daniel Ricciardo despite having a much faster car for the best part of the season and the Red Bull driver’s own reliability issues sums up the disappointment of Raikkonen’s campaign.

He should have been an ally for Vettel in the title race by nicking points of Lewis Hamilton, much as Valtteri Bottas was doing for his Mercedes teammate. Instead, Raikkonen seemed to be tagging along for the best part of this season.

Season High: Pole in Monaco, his first since the 2008 French Grand Prix.

Season Low: Finishing a distant P4 at Spa – a circuit he made his own in the 2000s.