Danica Patrick was involved in a hard, fiery wreck May 13 at Kansas, when running in the top 15. The wreck, no fault of her own as Joey Logano had a part break in his car, causing him to turn abruptly and clip Patrick, came when Patrick was running in the top 15. It would've been her first top-15 finish this season. After the race, she bemoaned her luck on the season.
"Every time I'm doing better, something stupid happens. It's just killing me. I don't know of any other way to say it," Patrick said. "He said he had a failure, I can't say it made me feel that much better in the moment... I am just frustrated for the lack of breaks I get. It seems like every time things are going better and something happens, I get crashed or am in a crash."
Ricky Craven, that night on SportsCenter, spoke about Patrick's post-race comments.
"Your body can only sustain so much... I really wonder if Danica is going to be thinking deep on this circumstance because she's had some severe impacts and been very fortunate to walk away. Tonight was no different."
Patrick said at Daytona 500 Media Day that she would retire if a doctor told her she was at risk. "If there was someone that told me or, I would hope any other driver, if you have another wreck, you could have a serious problem, then they would (choose to) be out."
Patrick has been involved in many hard wrecks during her career, including some this season.
Danica Patrick's History of Wrecks in NASCAR
• May 13, 2017 at Kansas (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pjufJMznq_0)
Patrick is running in the top 15, when a part in Joey Logano's car broke, causing an accident involving them and Aric Almirola. Patrick's car in engulfed in flames, and costing her what would be her first top-15 finish on the season. It was the 3rd time she had wrecked out of a race in a 4-week span.
• May 7, 2017 at Talladega (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jaApNJoekMI)
The week before at Talladega, Patrick was involved in "The Big One." As AJ Allmendinger slid onto his roof, Danica barreled towards the inside wall, making hard contact. The race was won by her boyfriend, Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
• April 24, 2017 at Talladega (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vc_yLw2OJq8)
2 weeks before the Talladega wreck, Patrick wrecked after making contact with David Ragan at Bristol, the site of her last top-10 finish.
• Feb. 26, 2017 at Daytona (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0FGjUbVE5M)
To start the season at the Daytona 500, Patrick got caught in a multi-car, triggered by Jimmie Johnson and Trevor Bayne. After the wreck, she spoke of her high hopes heading into the race, "It was the funnest 500 I've ever had... it's a real shame because I think we could've been a real contender at the end."
• May 1, 2016 at Talladega (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTBbzkbxpGg)
Inside the final 10 laps at Talladega, Patrick hits the wall hard as Matt Kenseth flips.
• March 20, 2016 at California (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iPkiN91Lwxo)
Last year at California, Patrick gets clipped by Kasey Kahne gets airborne after hitting the wall hard. She was later fined $20,000 for walking towards the track to gesture at Kahne's car.
• Feb. 21, 2016 at Daytona (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNSK6ovLjtE)
Although she didn't hit the wall, Patrick gets airborne at the Daytona 500 after getting off the track and into the grass.
• Nov. 11, 2012 & March 3, 2013 at Phoenix (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WDfO9QNLICg) (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iN50p45hPDM)
2 wrecks in consecutive Cup races at Phoenix. The first, Patrick is costing to the finish after a wreck with 2 to go, but as cars spin across the finish line, they're unable to avoid Patrick's slow car. 4 months later, Patrick wrecks hard after cutting a tire.
• July 6, 2012 at Daytona (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CuISdkvJH_k)
In the XFINITY Series, Patrick had another big hit at Daytona. When moving down the track to avoid the wreck, Patrick gets clipped and hard into the inside wall.
• Feb. 23, 2012 at Daytona (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nsDoRROPD_c)
In the qualifying race for the Daytona 500, Patrick had one of the hardest impacts of her career, spinning on the final lap and going into the inside wall, destroying her car.
• Oct. 9, 2010 at California (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yi_-R9QrV7g)
In her first season in NASCAR, Danica Patrick's car is momentarily airborne in a wreck at California. Patrick wrecked out of 3 of her first 8 races in what is now the XFINITY Series.
Danica's NASCAR Legacy
Her streak without a top-10 finish is now at 75 races, dating back to April 2015 at Bristol. Despite not having a top-10 finish last season, her average finish of 22.0 was still the best in her 4 full seasons in the Cup Series. This season, however, her 28.1 average finish would rank of the worst of her career.
Patrick's legacy in NASCAR will revolve around her making more starts than every other woman who has driven in the Cup Series combined. However, her average finish is 5 spots worse than Janet Guthrie, whose record she broke. And she didn't have the results that her Stewart-Haas Racing teammates did during her tenure.
Patrick's running NASCAR also didn't open the gates to other women driving in NASCAR's top series. Since 1990, the only women to run in the Cup Series have been Patrick and Shawna Robinson (8 races in 2001-02). In fact, more women ran races in NASCAR's inaugural season of 1949 than have since 1990.
Patrick's 4th-place run in a XFINITY Series race at Las Vegas remains the best in NASCAR's 3 National Touring Series history, but only 1 woman has a top-5 in Cup competition. In 1949, Sara Christian finished 5th in a race at Heidelberg Raceway in Pittsburgh. It was the 7th race in series history. Since then, 2,502 Cup Series races have been run without a woman finishing in the top 5.
-- ESPN Stats --