A scary three car crash stopped the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway Saturday night.
The crash happened just after a restart on lap 197. On lap 200, Joey Logano and Danica Patrick were racing for a spot just outside the top 10 entering turn 1. Something appeared to happen to the right front of Logano’s car and it immediately turned left and down into Patrick.
Both cars hit the wall hard and burst into flames. Aric Almirola running about 10 car lengths behind was unable to avoid the two cars and hit at near full speed, launching his car into the air.
All three slid to a stop in a fiery hulk. All the drivers were okay, but NASCAR immediately threw the red flag.
“I’m okay. Just saying a lot of prayers for Aric (Almirola) right now,” Logano said. “A lot of us took a hard hit. Something broke on my car, I don’t know what it was. I noticed it as I was trying to go in. I tried to back it off but you’re going 215 (mph) and it’s hard to check up. The car just took a bit step sideways into the corner and I hooked Danica (Patrick). I haven’t seen a replay yet, I don’t know what happened. You can see the right-front popped (right there) and it popped. I just hope everyone is okay. I hope Aric is alright. That’s the last thing you want to see, a big hit like that for anyone. It’s unfortunate for everyone. Let’s hope that Aric is alright.”
Patrick had confronted Logano at the scene, obviously upset.
“We were back in the ambulance together and I just told her something broke,” he said. “There’s nothing I could have done. I don’t know what happened. Like I said, something broke and tore up a bunch of really good cars.”
Almirola was awake but stayed in the car and soon rescue crews were working on getting him out. The crews took the roof off the car to remove Almirola. He was eventually lifted out on a backboard and taken away in an ambulance from the scene.
Logano and Patrick were both seen and released at the infield care center.
“We were having a really good race and having fun out there and had a lot of speed,” Patrick said. “I kinda felt like Wonder Woman for a little while. All I know is that I all of a sudden crashed. I definitely had a feeling it was the 22 and I am sure that the doctors in the medical center checking my neurological abilities are glad to know I was right that it was Joey. When 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. Especially a place like this, a brake rotor, when we are using 200-300 pounds of pressure seems odd. Unfortunately, there were two of us that got collected and while I am okay, one of these times one if these really big accidents someone is not going to be okay. Aric (Almirola) is not okay and his car looked the best of everybody. You never know when it is going to be the wrong hit. I have a team that works hard and put another car on the track and I hope we are saving up for a really good run of good luck.”
Patrick said she really said everything to Logano prior to them getting in the ambulance.
“I said something else in there and I just – really if he had a failure there is really nothing you can do about that,” she said. “That is unfortunate and me and Aric are unfortunate recipients of that problem. It isn’t that I haven’t had issues with Joey in the past so to think it was something else was imaginable.”
Almirola was later airlifted to the University of Kansas Medical center for observation. Martin Truex Jr. won the race.