Three-wide racing at Bristol Motor Speedway usually doesn’t work.
If you need proof, just look at Lap 323 of Monday’s Food City 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at the 0.533-mile Tennessee short track.
On that lap, David Ragan tried to make a bold move to split the cars of Front Row Motorsports teammate Landon Cassill on the high side and Stewart-Haas Racing’s Danica Patrick on the low side as they exiting a corner.
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It did not end well.
Patrick washed up the hill and hit Ragan, with both of them getting knocked out of the race, although Cassill was able to continue.
It was another disappointing finish for Patrick, who has endured many of those so far this year.
Patrick said here problems actually started much earlier, when she tagged the wall, which hurt the handling of her Stewart-Haas Racing Ford.
“All of a sudden it just snapped loose in (Turns) 1 and 2 and hit the wall and got a lot of right-rear damage and lost a lot of sideforce,” said Patrick. “It was just super-loose after that. It was kind of miserable for the next part until it ended there about (lap) 300 in or something like that.
And the contact with Ragan meant the end of Patrick’s race.
“What happened with that, I’m not sure,” she said. “I know that all of a sudden I heard, ‘three-wide’ and I don’t know. There was a wreck and I was the lucky winner.”
Understandably, Patrick was frustrated.
“I’m mostly just thinking it was kind of just miserable for half the time out there after I right-reared it,” she said. “But it’s not from a lack of effort and it wasn’t that I wasn’t trying after that all happened, it was just kind of one thing after another. …. I had about 30 laps of hope today.”