DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.—After wrecks in the last Saturday’s Sprint Unlimited, Wednesday’s practice and Thursday night’s Duel, the last thing Danica Patrick needed was another problem.
Consider that Patrick and her No. 10 Stewart-Haas Racing team had already launched their own recycling program—for race cars. The car Patrick wrecked in the Unlimited had been sent back to Charlotte, North Carolina, for repairs, and that was the machine Patrick was driving during Friday afternoon’s practice session at Daytona International Speedway.
Seventeen minutes into Friday’s second session—the first of the day for Patrick at the 2.5-mile superspeedway—her car began to smoke and dropped fluid on the track, causing a brief red-flag period.
Fortunately, the problem was merely a water line issue and not a blown engine, and Patrick was able to return to the tack later in the session. But Speedweeks continued to be fraught with obstacles for the former open-wheel star.