Danica Patrick was in a crash that ended her Daytona 500 early and slowed the already delayed race.
The major wreck happened just shy of the three-quarters mark of the race as 13 drivers were ensnared in the crash. The sequence started when Brian Scott clipped the car of former Daytona 500 winner Kevin Harvick, sending him into Aric Almirola’s Ford.
In the ensuing wreck, Danica Patrick along with a host of others were taken out — including Paul Menard, Justin Allgaier, Parker Kligerman, David Gilliland, Marcos Ambrose, Josh Wise, and Michael Waltrip.
Viewers watching the Daytona 500 saw Danica Patrick as she shot across the short chute and hit the outside retaining wall hard.
“What the hell happened?” she radioed to her crew.
The crash brought an end to a week filled with attention and controversy and milestones Danica. It was kicked off when seven-time NASCAR champion Richard Petty criticized her driving abilities, saying she could only win the Sprint Cup Series “if everybody else stayed home.”
“I just don’t think it’s a sport for women,” he added. “And so far, it’s proven out. It’s really not. It’s good for them to come in. It gives us a lot of publicity, it gives them publicity.”
On Sunday, just before the Daytona 500, Danica Patrick made news for a more positive story. She became the first NASCAR driver to pass 1 million followers on Twitter, which she said is a testament to her fans.
“It just shows what incredible and loyal fans I have. It’s pretty humbling that 1 million people are curious about what I have to say and what I’m doing. I really can’t thank everyone enough for their passion and interest.”
Even before the crash that claimed Danica Patrick, the Daytona 500 had already been delayed by more than six hours due to rain.