Contact between Danica Patrick and Kasey Kahne sent Patrick crashing into the frontstretch wall during Sunday's NASCAR race at Auto Club Speedway, an accident Patrick alluded to being intentional on Kahne's part.
Patrick was running 19th and on the same lap as the leader when she attempted to pass Kahne, who was a lap behind after an earlier unscheduled pit stop for a flat tire, when Kahne clipped the right rear of Patrick's car. The contact sent Patrick spinning into the wall with such force it lifted the rear tires off the ground upon initial impact. Patrick was uninjured.
After removing herself from her car, Patrick expressed her displeasure by walking toward the racing surface and gesturing toward Kahne as he drove by under caution.
Video was inconclusive whether Kahne turned Patrick deliberately and he immediately apologized for the incident in radio communication to his team saying he, "didn't mean to do that." NASCAR ordered Kahne and his crew chief and spotter to meet with officials post-race to explain the incident.
"She had the momentum off the top and went back under me going down the frontstretch," Kahne said. "So I went just to kind of catch a side draft to make sure I was in position getting into Turn 1 and it didn't hold me up when I got there because I was the one coming and I just got too close and the car was moving around and we hit and she had a bad wreck.
"I felt really bad because it was far from anything than just trying to hold my position. I've never had an issue with Danica at all. It was an avoidable accident in the middle of the straightaway that was far from anything but just trying to hold my position that I had just gained."
Although Kahne apologized, Patrick didn't seem convinced about the sincerity when she spoke with reporters. Patrick took exception with the fact Kahne was a lap down while she was on the lead lap.
"I was going low and I saw him chase me down the track and then the next thing I know I was getting spun up the track," Patrick said. "I was passing him. He was behind me in the right rear.
"I don't know what kind of day he was having. I just heard he was a lap down actually. I feel bad if he felt like he was put in a position to have to be that desperate a lap down. It's just unfortunate; he must be having a very tough time."
Because Patrick walked towards the racing surface while the track was considered hot to demonstrate her frustration with Kahne, she could face a penalty for not staying near her car as drivers are required. Any penalties would likely be issued on Tuesday.