Danica blows tire, finishes 39th; Carl Edwards wins Phoenix
By Brandon Reid
After a record-setting performance the previous week at the Daytona 500, former Roscoe resident Danica Patrick had a rough day Sunday, March 3, in the Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale, Ariz.
After starting the race 40th out of 43 drivers, Patrick blew a tire on lap 184 of the 316-lap race and slammed into the wall, ending her day.
The wreck was one of the hardest hits of her career. She blew her right-front tire coming out of turn 4, and slammed the right side of her car into the wall. Her car traveled back onto the track and was hit hard again by David Ragan. The collision flipped the hood of her car over the windshield and shredded the left front fender. Protective foam flew from the driver’s side door.
Patrick was able to walk away from the wreck and sustained no injuries.
Patrick had been running in 26th place prior to the wreck, but she finished 39th, gaining just 5 season points. She is now 22nd in season points following the race.
“Whenever those right-fronts go, they always hit hard because you don’t broadside, you hit more straight on,” Patrick said of the wreck. “It took a hard hit both sides and I’m fine, so NASCAR is doing a good job at safety. But no real good warning. The car wasn’t all that tight and most of the (problems) were in the rear, so there was no real vibration that told me that was going to happen.”
Carl Edwards was able to collect his first checkered flag since winning at Las Vegas in 2011, ending a 70-race winless streak. Jimmie Johnson, with Rockford native Chad Knaus as crew chief, finished second, Denny Hamlin third, Brad Keselowski fourth and Dale Earnhardt Jr. fifth. Janesville, Wis., native Travis Kvapil finished 29th and Cambridge, Wis., native Matt Kenseth finished seventh.
The series moves to Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas Sunday, March 10, for the Kobalt Tools 400. Race starts at 2 p.m. (Central).
After two races, Johnson leads the series points standings with 90 points. Earnhardt Jr. is second with 82 points, Keselowski third with 82 points, Hamlin fourth with 72 points and Clint Bowyer fifth with 72 points. Edwards is 11th with 59 points, Kenseth 18th with 46 points, Patrick 22nd with 42 points and Kvapil 27th with 35 points.
Posted March 4, 2013
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