Danica Patrick rocky after beaning at dirt track

LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 07: A crew member holds a tape measure to Danica Patrick, driver of the #10 GoDaddy Racing Chevrolet, in the garage area during NASCAR Sprint Cup Series testing at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 7, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 07: A crew member holds a tape measure to Danica Patrick, driver of the #10 GoDaddy Racing Chevrolet, in the garage area during NASCAR Sprint Cup Series testing at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 7, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV – MARCH 07: A crew member holds a tape measure to Danica Patrick, driver of the #10 GoDaddy Racing Chevrolet, in the garage area during NASCAR Sprint Cup Series testing at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 7, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)

LAS VEGAS, Nev.—There’s no way around it—it’s been a rough week for Danica Patrick.

On Sunday at Phoenix, a blown right front tire sent her Chevrolet SS into the outside wall and then into the path of David Ragan’s Ford Fusion. The impact from Ragan’s car literally blew the driver’s-side door off Patrick’s No. 10.

Patrick took a bone-jarring hit but was unhurt, aside from some expected soreness.

On Thursday night at The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, she was watching a race, not competing in it, but that didn’t keep Patrick out of harm’s way.

“I feel like I have a concussion from last night,” Patrick said Friday during a visit to the LVMS media center. “I got hit by a rock at The Dirt Track and I took it to the ground. So I feel like it’s really sore… It hit me straight in the head. Good thing I had a hat on, or there would have been blood.”

Though she was 19th fastest in Thursday’s afternoon practice session, Patrick is getting little respect from Las Vegas bookmakers, who have her at roughly even odds to finish in the top 25 on Sunday. Patrick said she would take that bet.

“Yeah, I would bet on myself—yeah,” Patrick said. “I was running there last year when I had even less of an idea what was going on and didn’t have a full-time effort. It was only a partial schedule, obviously. So I would, but I think that even the best of us can have bad weekends and that they happen.”

Perhaps the flying rock had more of an effect than Patrick realized—she has never run a Sprint Cup race at Las Vegas, though she finished fourth at the 1.5-mile track in the 2011 Nationwide Series event, the best-ever result for a woman in any of NASCAR’s top three series.

About Greg Engle 7420 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for Examiner.com and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.