No, Danica Patrick did not cause the crash that has injured at least 30 NASCAR fans and caused debris to fly into the grandstand. She did though make a mistake that might have caused her an opportunity to keep racing.
Towards the beginning of turn No. 3, Patrick’s car shut down. Even though she has yet to blow an engine during her career, she thought her car shut down because of a blown engine. Instead of taking the car to pit road for a correct diagnosis, Patrick went to the garage.
While in the garage talking to ESPN, her crew turned the car on and off twice, and then Patrick felt embarrassed.
It could have been a simple problem, but her crew told her that the problem could have been the entire ignition system and not just the primary switch.
Patrick learned a good lesson today. Drive to the pit first for diagnosis, and then if needed go to the garage, not the other way around.
“A good lesson that if there was a potential fix at some point, you just always come down pit lane, get in your pit box and do absolutely everything possible to see if you can fix it,” she said.
For those concerned about her vehicle, she will be driving a different car for the Daytona 500. Patrick also did not practice today for Sunday’s race in order to ensure should would start from the pole.
We all have those learning moments. Today was one of those for Patrick. Drive to the pit first, then to the garage. It could end up keeping you in the race.