Danica Patrick’s engine failure sets up late-race pyrotechnics

With 16 laps left in Sunday’s Kobalt 400, Brad Keselowski appeared headed for his second straight Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory.

Keselowski had a comfortable lead over Martin Truex Jr. – until the engine in Danica Patrick’s No. 10 Ford exploded as she ran in front of Stewart-Haas racing teammate Kurt Busch.

“We just got the car to a place where I think we could have got a little more racy with it, especially if we would have caught some breaks, but then it just flattened out,” Patrick said.

“I just rode around the top in case I blew up, but having a teammate behind me was not ideal for the timing of it, but unfortunately it happened. We’ll just move on.”

Patrick’s incident injected a random element into the proceedings, and altered the course of the race. A mechanical failure knocked Keselowski out of the lead and handed the win to Truex.

Joey Logano and Kyle Busch did their own version of slam dancing as they fought for third place in the final corner and later came to blows on pit road.

None of that likely would have happened, if Patrick’s engine hadn’t blown.