Danica Patrick finished 37th Sunday in her last race at Stewart-Haas Racing after a crash on Lap 141 of the Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Patrick said she hit the wall in turns 3 and 4, which caused a tire rub on her No. 10 Ford. A few laps later she was running high in Turns 1-2 when the car’s right-rear tire failed, sending Patrick into the wall. The wreck resulted in Patrick’s 11th DNF of the season — 10 for crashes.
“It’s kind of just the story of the year,” Patrick told NBCSN. “I’d start to run better and then just things would happen. Yeah, that was my fault. It was my fault I hit the wall. I asked (the team members) if it looked OK, and they said it looked all right, and then it blew.”
Patrick announced Friday that Sunday’s race would be her last as a full-time NASCAR driver. She intends to compete in the 2018 Daytona 500 and Indianapolis 500 before retiring from auto racing (she hasn’t determined which teams but has talked with Chip Ganassi).
Asked after her wreck Sunday if running Daytona would be a silver lining, Patrick replied, “Yeah. Sure. Let’s hope I don’t end up in the medical center.”
The first woman to lead the Indy 500 and Daytona 500 wasn’t making a quick getaway with boyfriend Ricky Stenhouse Jr. still racing Sunday.
“What I’m not looking forward to is I have to go sit in my bus and wait for everyone to get done with the race before I can go home (laughing)” Patrick said. “That sucks, but I think that what’s coming ahead is bright for me and for the way it feels, so I’m excited.”
Kasey Kahne, competing in his last race with Hendrick Motorsports in the No. 5 Chevrolet, ran into the back of Patrick’s car after it crashed. Kahne’s team was able to make enough repairs to continue. When the race went back to green, he was in 36th, five laps down. He finished Stage 2 six laps down.