Sunday’s Ford EcoBoost 400 was the last race in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series for Danica Patrick as a full-time driver.
Unfortunately for Patrick, her last intermediate track race in NASCAR ended in flames.
On lap 142, the Stewart-Haas Racing driver was running a lap down in 18th when she got loose entering turn 1 and hit the SAFER Barrier. Kasey Kahne simply could not avoid Patrick and ran into the back of the Aspen Dental Ford.
Patrick attempted to drive her Fusion back to pit road, but the car caught fire en route. Eventually, she was forced to stop and bail just shy of pit road entrance.
Afterwards, Patrick blamed herself for the wreck.
“I hit the wall in 3 and 4 and got some fender rub on the tire,” Patrick said after exiting the Infield Care Center. “I ran a couple laps, and there was smoke in the car, and they thought it was alright but it wasn’t.”
With the crash, Patrick collected her 11th DNF of 2017. 10 of those 11 DNFs have been due to crashes, including all four restrictor plate races and four intermediate tracks. That is the most of all drivers who have started all 36 races.
After announcing her retirement Friday, Patrick has only one more Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start left in her career. That will be the Daytona 500 in February.
“Yeah. Sure,” a frustrated Patrick said when asked about her next race. “Let’s just hope I don’t end up in the medical center.”