Patrick Crashes Late In Final Practice

Danica Patrick

Danica Patrick loosk over her car after she crashed in practice Friday at Watkins Glen. (Photo: Dustin Long)

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. - An apparent left front shock failure caused Danica Patrick to crash seconds before Friday’s final NASCAR Sprint Cup practice ended at Watkins Glen International.

“It has been a record, horrible day,’’ Patrick said after leaving the infield care center.

She was slow in the opening practice session (32nd of 43 cars) and then missed a shift that caused a vibration. The team changed engines before the final practice session.

The final session wasn’t better. She was 36th among 42 cars before crashing.

“It looks like the shock broke and collapsed,’’ crew chief Tony Gibson said. “She went into (Turn) 1 and said it moved more than normal. (Matt) Kenseth said the front tire started smoking and as soon as he said that she hit.’’

Gibson said they will put a new engine in that car. It will be Patrick’s third engine of the weekend.

The only track time that remains before the race is Saturday’s qualifying session.

“We’ll just treat qualifying like a practice session and run as many laps as we can,’’ Gibson said.

It won’t matter where Patrick qualifies. She’ll start at the rear because of the previous engine change.

“If you’re going to have to start at the back of the track, the strategies are all over the place on road courses, it just might push us into something that works,’’ Patrick said.

Motor Racing Network - "The Voice of NASCAR" - will have live coverage of Sunday's Cheez-It 355 at The Glen starting at noon (ET), with live streaming at MRN.com

 

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