Patrick Say NASCAR Rule Has Her "Defeated"

Danica Patrick

Danica Patrick questions NASCAR rule sending her, Tony Stewart and Bobby Labonte to rear of Duel and Daytona 500. (Photo: Getty Images)


DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Should Danica Patrick, Tony Stewart and Bobby Labonte start-and-park in their Duel on Thursday night since each will start at the back of the Daytona 500?

It’s a question each team is asking.

All three teams changed engines Saturday and NASCAR stated that those teams must start at the rear of their Duel and the Daytona 500 because the engine change was unapproved. Teams are allowed to change engines only after the Duel without penalty.

“I’m defeated,’’ Patrick said after qualifying Saturday at Daytona International Speedway. “It sucks to know that no matter what you do today it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter at all I’m going to start at the back of the 150s. I don’t understand why I”m going to have to start at the back of the 500. It’s just a bummer.’’

“What stops me from going out and starting and parking? That’s a bummer for the fans, but I don’t want to tear up my 500 car. Why would I run the Duels. I’m sure I’ll run it. Like last year, I just ran in the back of the Duels because I didn’t want to get in trouble or otherwise I would lose my front row start. This year, nothing is going to change. I’m  starting from the back. We’ll have to look at our options and be smart.’’

Gibson said that Greg Zipadelli, vice president of competition, has had discussions with NASCAR about why the cars must start at the rear of the Daytona 500.

Section 20-4.1 B in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Rule Book states that a team must start at the rear of the field for an unapproved engine change.

The rule reads: “Unless otherwise specified by NASCAR, the same long block engine assembly (engine block, crankshaft, camshaft, connecting rods, pistons, cylinder heads, and valves) must be used for the entire Event, including practice, qualifying and the Race. An engine must not be removed from a car without the approval of the Series Director. The Series Director may require any team that removes an engine to start at the rear of the field, providing the car earns a starting position in the Race.” 

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