DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – A major wreck that included Danica Patrick being spun and running head-on into an unprotected retaining wall at nearly 200 mph was part of a major wreck in Sunday night’s weather-delayed Daytona 500.
Patrick was an innocent victim in the 12-car wreck (video below), which occurred coming out of Turn 4 on Lap 146. The wreck appeared to begin when Brian Scott went up the track into the car of Aric Almirola, who hit the wall and spun down towards the infield, collecting several cars in the process.
Patrick was in the wrong place at the wrong time and plowed straight into a part of the retaining wall that is not protected by a SAFER barrier.
When asked by crew chief Tony Gibson whether she was okay, Patrick, whose voice appeared shaky on the team radio, responded, “Yeah what the hell happened?”
Later, interviewed by Fox Sports, Patrick added, “I thought everything was going pretty well. … It’s a bummer but that’s kind of the excitement of speedway racing that anything can happen and it’s unfortunate that I was at the short end of the accident.”
Drivers besides Patrick, Almirola and Scott that were involved in the wreck included Kevin Harvick, Parker Kligerman, Paul Menard, Michael Waltrip, Reed Sorenson, polesitter Austin Dillon, Kasey Kahne, Marcos Ambrose, Justin Allgaier and Josh Wise.
Sixteen laps later, with two high-profile Sprint Cup rookies battling for the same real estate on the racetrack, Daytona 500 polesitter Austin Dillon spun Kyle Larson, triggering yet another big wreck involving 10 cars.
Dillon, who may have had a tire going down, appeared to get into the rear of Larson, with the cars of Kasey Kahne, Michael Annett, Marcos Ambrose, Brian Vickers, Casey Mears, Jamie McMurray, Ryan Newman and Brian Scott all being caught up in the resulting carnage.
“I don’t know if Austin got loose and shuffled up the track and got into me and turned us,” Larson said. “It’s Daytona, it sucks to end it like this.”
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