Hollywood Casino 400: Danica Patrick crashes out on Lap 1

Jamie Squire

Danica Patrick’s rookie season struggles continued Sunday, as she crashed out on Lap 1 of the Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway.

Danica Patrick's frustrating rookie season continued Sunday with a wreck in the first corner on the first lap of the Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway.

Starting 29th, Patrick sped into Turn 1 where she appeared to lose control of her car and veered head-on into the SAFER barrier. Her No. 10 Chevrolet suffered significant damage in the accident that also collected David Reutimann.

"I knew the start was going to be definitely hairy, but when you arrive at Turn 1 you are not going very fast yet," Patrick said. "So, I still was off the throttle and I just had enough momentum to go to the middle and so I did and I don't know why it came around.

"Either I drove into hard or the air is just that challenging or we were a little loose. I don't know. I didn't even have my front bead blowers on yet just trying to build heat in the front tires."

Patrick was one of many drivers who found the 1.5-mile oval difficult. A new Goodyear tire combined with cold temperatures and a slick track with little grip led to a track-record 15 caution periods Sunday.

Among those who encountered trouble was Kyle Busch, who was involved in two separate incidents. The last one as a result of contact with Carl Edwards and Brian Vickers and ended with Busch's mangled Toyota suffering terminal damage.

Patrick said she was "mentally prepared" for the difficult conditions and asked her spotter to help her through the opening laps.

"I knew that going into the race based on practice and everything we've seen from practice in Cup to the Nationwide race, that losing grip was going to be not that hard to do," she said. "If I did something wrong, I apologize to everybody on my team. It's a shame."

Patrick placed last among 43rd drivers Sunday, and Kansas was the fifth time she has failed to finish a race due to an accident. Heading into next week's race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Patrick is 28th in points with an average finish of 26.4.

"It's just a shame because it always seems to be the case (on) those weekends when things start to be going better and I've had lots of people say you looked good in practice yesterday and felt a lot better," Patrick said. "I knew we were going to have a good day there. Things just go wrong. And days when you're not fast, it seems like those aren't the days that you get the bad luck."

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