Nearly a week after running over a shoe while leading the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Montreal, Danica Patrick could do little but quote Austin Powers.
"Who throws a shoe?" she said in a faux English accent on Friday morning at Bristol Motor Speedway. "I mean, really?"
Patrick initially joked about the shoe incident ("It was dark, with a light-colored sole. It looked really funny on the video."), but then she suddenly sighed.
"Ugh, that sucked," she said.
Though crew chief Tony Eury Jr. told espn.com this week the shoe had nothing to do with Patrick's parts failure, the driver herself wasn't so sure. Either way, she said, running over the shoe marked the start of her problems.
"(I was) looking forward to having a shot to win, and that happened in the lead," she said. "Whether it was what caused the problem or not, I don't know. But it definitely was what ended up leading toward the end of our day."
While leading the Montreal race, an unknown spectator suddenly chucked a sneaker over the fence, and it landed on the track. Patrick promptly ran over it, and her car developed handling issues almost immediately afterward.
Patrick said the shoe was a continuation of a bad-luck streak, the likes of which she's never experienced. She couldn't remember a time when she felt "like I can't seem to catch a break for so long and in such big ways sometimes."
"I can't tell you how many people said after Watkins Glen what bad luck I had – and then I hit a shoe," she said. "So I don't feel like it can get a lot worse. I don't know if anybody has ever hit a shoe before. It's just a weird situation. I'm ready for some good luck and some good results."