Danica unsure if penalty coming for Hornish wreck
Danica Patrick said Thursday she isn’t sure if NASCAR will
penalize her for intentionally wrecking Sam Hornish Jr. at
Patrick was angry after Hornish ran her up the track on the last
lap of the Nationwide Series race. She retaliated on the cool-down
lap, but insisted her intent was only to hit Hornish to show her
After watching a replay of the accident, she called both Hornish
and Nationwide Series director Joe Balash. She also exchanged
emails with Hornish team owner Roger Penske.
”I was definitely surprised he hit the wall, that was
completely unintentional,” she said during an appearance for new
sponsor Coca-Cola at Charlotte Motor Speedway. ”Sam didn’t mean to
put me in the wall, either. We’re both good, and I know we’re both
looking forward to Darlington.”
Patrick was not called to the NASCAR hauler after the race, and
has not been punished for her actions. She wasn’t sure if that will
change once she arrives Friday at Darlington Raceway.
”I have no idea,” she said. ”That’s not my department. I
don’t make those kinds of decisions. That’s up to NASCAR and the
things that they look at, and the things they take into
There’s been grumbling among fans about NASCAR officials not
even speaking to Patrick after Saturday’s race, mainly because Kyle
Busch was parked for an entire weekend last November for
intentionally wrecking Ron Hornaday Jr. under caution at Texas.
In disciplining Busch, NASCAR president Mike Helton repeated
several times that Busch was parked specifically for the Hornaday
incident and it was not a penalty based on overall body of work.
Some fans contend Patrick should also have been subjected to a
penalty under that premise.
Meanwhile, Ryan Newman also wondered about NASCAR
inconsistencies after team owner Tony Stewart went unpunished for
his tongue-and-cheek critique of Sunday’s race at Talladega.
Newman, who was also at the Coca-Cola appearance on Thursday, was
fined two years ago by NASCAR for critical remarks about the same
The difference? Stewart was clearly being sarcastic when he
said, among other things, that ”I feel bad that, as drivers, we
couldn’t do a better job of crashing enough cars for them
Said Newman: ”I guess there’s a difference when you hold a
straight face versus and when you don’t. I didn’t see much
difference in what he said versus what I said. I know NASCAR has
supposedly changed their ways a little bit.”
Stewart concluded his session on Sunday by suggesting NASCAR
turn Talladega into a figure eight. Newman offered a different
solution – moving the race from Talladega to Barber Motorsports in
”Go to Barber Motorsports Park and have a third road-course
race,” Newman said. ”To me, that’s the best option (or) take the
banking out. We could go out there and run rental cars and run 75
miles an hour and make it a 100-mile race and put on a good