Danica Patrick’s full-time Cup career ends with crash: ‘It’s the story of my year’

3 Comments

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.

Saturday NASCAR schedule at Talladega Superspeedway

0 Comments

Both the Xfinity Series and Camping World Truck Series will race Saturday at Talladega Superspeedway.

Cup cars will start the day’s action by qualifying for Sunday’s playoff race, followed by the Truck playoff race and then the Xfinity playoff race.

Talladega Superspeedway (Cup, Xfinity and Truck)

Weekend weather

Saturday: Sunny. High of 78.

Saturday, Oct. 1

(All times Eastern)

Garage open

  • 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. — Cup Series
  • 9:30 a.m. — Truck Series
  • 1 p.m. — Xfinity Series

Track activity

  • 10:30 a.m. – Noon — Cup Series qualifying (NBC Sports app, Motor Racing Network, Sirius XM NASCAR Radio)
  • 12:30 p.m. — Truck Series race (94 laps, 250 miles; FS1, Motor Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)
  • 4 p.m. — Xfinity Series race (113 laps, 300 miles; USA Network, Motor Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

Talladega Xfinity starting lineup: Austin Hill wins pole

0 Comments

TALLADEGA, Ala. — Austin Hill will lead the field to the green flag Saturday at Talladega Superspeedway after scoring his first career Xfinity Series pole.

Hill won the pole Friday with a lap of 182.036 mph. He will be joined on the front row by fellow playoff contender Ty Gibbs (181.981 mph).

MORE: Talladega Xfinity starting lineup

Playoff drivers will start in seven of the top eight spots. The exception is Sheldon Creed, who will start third after a lap of 181.870 mph. Hill and Creed give Richard Childress Racing the first and third starting spots.

Justin Allgaier (181.529) qualified fourth and Brandon Jones (181.305) completed the top five. Noah Gragson, who has won four races in a row, starts sixth after a lap of 181.134 mph and is followed by playoff drivers Josh Berry (181.052) and AJ Allmendinger (180.932).

The Xfinity Series race is scheduled for 4 p.m. ET Saturday on USA Network.

Talladega Truck starting lineup: John Hunter Nemechek wins pole

0 Comments

TALLADEGA, Ala. — John Hunter Nemechek will start on the pole for Saturday’s Camping World Truck Series race.

Nemechek earned the pole with a lap of 178.767 mph.

Nemechek is one of four playoff drivers starting in the top six: Chandler Smith (second, 177.732 mph), Zane Smith (fourth, 177.061) and Ty Majeski (sixth, 176.744). Majeski clinched a spot in next month’s championship race at Phoenix with his Bristol win.

MORE: Talladega Truck starting lineup

Also qualifying in the top five were Carson Hocevar (177.068) in third and Matt Crafton (176.960) in fifth.

Failing to qualify are Tim Viens, Spencer Boyd, Jason White and Natalie Decker.

Saturday Talladega Xfinity race: Start time, TV info, weather

0 Comments

The second race of the opening round of the Xfinity playoffs takes drivers to Talladega Superspeedway.

Noah Gragson secured his spot in the next round by winning last weekend at Texas. Ryan Sieg holds the final transfer spot. Riley Herbst is the first driver below the cutline, one point behind Sieg. Also below the cutline are reigning series champion Daniel Hemric (-8 points), Brandon Jones (-12) and Jeremy Clements (-28).

Details for Saturday’s Xfinity race at Talladega Superspeedway

(All times Eastern)

START: The command to start engines will be given at 4:09 p.m. … Green flag is scheduled to wave at 4:21 p.m.

PRERACE: Xfinity garage opens at 1 p.m. … Driver introductions are at 3:30 p.m. … The invocation will be given at 4 p.m. … The Brookwood High School choir will perform the anthem at 4:02 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is 113 laps (300.58 miles) on the 2.66-mile speedway.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends at Lap 25. Stage 2 ends at Lap 50.

TV/RADIO: USA Network will broadcast the race at 4 p.m. Countdown to Green begins at 3:30 p.m. on USA Network. … Motor Racing Network coverage begins at 3:30 p.m. and also will stream at mrn.com. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the MRN broadcast.

STREAMING: NBCsports.com

FORECAST: Weather Underground — Sunny with a high of 78 degrees and no chance of rain at the start of the race.

LAST TIME: Noah Gragson won and was followed by Jeffrey Earnhardt and AJ Allmendinger.