Dale Earnhardt apologized again on Tuesday for spinning out Danica Patrick during Saturday's NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Kentucky Speedway, saying there was little he could've done to prevent the incident.
But Earnhardt also questioned why Patrick "flew off the handle" following the accident even though her team informed her the contact was unintentional and that Earnhardt had brake issues. After spinning, Patrick gathered her car and then followed Earnhardt onto pit road where she deliberately ran into him.
"She flew off the handle and got pissed off," Earnhardt said on his weekly podcast, The Dale Jr. Download. "Our spotters communicated and told her about the brakes and she still ran into us on pit road for whatever damn reason. That just brings a lot of unwanted attention to both of us for all the wrong reasons.
"I've been there, I've done that. But knowing what I know now, you don't want to make a bad situation worse. That sucked, I couldn't do anything about it. I hated that it wrecked her car, because nobody wants to get wrecked out of the race."
The run-in between two of NASCAR's most popular stars occurred on Lap 207 of Saturday's Quaker State 400. Earnhardt had been dealing with brake problems almost from the onset and not able to slow down, rear-ended Patrick entering Turn 3, causing her to spin.
Earnhardt and his team expressed contrition immediately, notifying Patrick's team of the mechanical failure on the No. 88 car. Patrick, however, was having none of the explanation and questioned why Earnhardt was even on the track.
"Go f*** yourself," Patrick radioed to her team. "I mean really? If you didn't have any brakes, why would you drive in underneath me? Weren't you thinking about that, maybe the corner before that?
"What an ass****."
Earnhardt on his podcast Tuesday said he had been pumping the brakes "a lot" trying to correct the issue and had even let Patrick pass him. But not wanting to de-accelerate and slow down, he didn't pump the brakes while on the back straightaway, which is why he carried such speed into the corner.
"You're just pumping them trying to get the fluid up, trying to get the pedal up," Earnhardt Jr. "When we got to the corner and I mashed the brake, it went all way to the floor, and I let off the brakes, mashed it again to the floor."
It was then Earnhardt realized he was going too fast. And left with little recourse, he rammed into Patrick's No. 10 car.
"At this point I'm going to hit her," Earnhardt said. "I let off again and mashed the brakes and it goes to the floor. Then, I ran in the back of her -- I couldn't slow the car down. There was nothing I could do about it."