VIDEO: Danica crashes in Bristol practice, Kurt Busch leads
Danica Patrick’s Bristol weekend got off to a miserable start, when three minutes into Friday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup practice, she got loose coming out of Turn 2 and crashed. Patrick’s No. 10 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet collected Parker Kligerman’s No. 30 Swan Racing Toyota when Kligerman was on his opening lap.
The crash meant Patrick had to go to a backup car, which cost her critical practice time in Friday’s lone session. Needless to say, it was not the way she wanted to kick off her weekend. Patrick comes into the fourth race of the season 33rd in the Sprint Cup points standings.
Patrick was not alone in struggling to come to grips with the fast, high-banked 0.533-mile track. Moments after she crashed, both Justin Allgaier and Kyle Busch found the wall in single-car accidents and were forced to backups as well. Then, 32 minutes into practice, Greg Biffle crashed on the frontstretch, wadding up his Roush Fenway Racing Ford. He, too, had to go to a backup car. In the closing minutes of the session, both Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Matt Kenseth tagged the wall, though not hard enough to seriously damage either car.
When the dust settled from all the wrecks, five-time Bristol winner Kurt Busch was fastest in practice, his Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet running a best lap of 129.789 miles per hour. Busch’s speed was faster than the existing track record. Jeff Gordon, also a five-time winner here, was second in practice at 129.421 mph, followed by Denny Hamlin, Carl Edwards, Marcos Ambrose and Brad Keselowski. Dale Earnhardt Jr. was 14th, Tony Stewart 32nd and Patrick 34th.