Rough Day for SHR Teammates

Danica Patrick

Everything came to a crashing halt for Danica Patrick on lap 184 when she blew a tire, hit the wall and then was run into by a hard charging David Ragan who had nowhere to go on the tight PIR frontstretch. (Photo: Getty Images)

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AVONDALE, Ariz. – Stewart-Haas Racing teammates Danica Patrick and Ryan Newman didn’t have an enjoyable afternoon at Phoenix International Raceway.

Both drivers were victims of right-front tire failures and ended their days with hard crashes.

Ryan NewmanNewman, who started the season with a solid top-five run last Sunday in the Daytona 500, exited the race on lap 140 when he slammed the Turn 1 wall after his tire blew for the second time in the race. He was credited with a 40th-place finish.

“We blew a right front, and I wasn’t real sure why,” Newman said. “I don’t know if we melted a bead or what it was, but that set the stage for blowing the right front the second time. We didn’t have enough caution laps to get it fixed and fixed right. The sway bar wasn’t hooked up, the splitter was off. It was a tough day for our Quicken Loans Chevrolet. We had a decent car. We just didn’t get to show it, track position-wise."

Patrick’s day started from the back of the field after she turned the 40th fastest speed in qualifying and was a struggle for most of her day.

But everything came to a crashing halt on lap 184 when she blew a tire, hit the wall and then was run into by a hard charging David Ragan who had nowhere to go on the tight PIR frontstretch.

Patrick’s GoDaddy.com Chevrolet was destroyed after the hard hit.

“I obviously blew a right front,” Patrick said. “There was no real warning. … I felt most of the day I was chasing. It was as little bit unexpected.

“I took a hard hit to the right and the left. I’m fine. The cars and the tracks are so safe and as a driver that’s a nice feeling.”

After her eighth-place performance in Daytona, Patrick finished 40th Sunday in Phoenix. While she remains upbeat about her rookie Sprint Cup Series voyage, she was disappointed to not be able to ride a wave of momentum into the second race of the season.

“So, for me, it just sucks to lose the points,” she said. “Everybody works hard and after last weekend we really just wanted to get to these three races and get some solid points so that when they re-establish the garage area we could; we worked in the dirt this weekend, so I really wanted my guys to get in the garage area.

“So, we’ll just have to come at ‘em at Vegas. I really, really like Vegas so it should suit me well. But yeah, we were having a steady day. Not great, but we were making progress.”

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