When the checkered flag flew to signal the end on the Camping World RV Sales 301, Danica Patrick knew she had a lot of apologizing to do.
Patrick was involved in a late race crash of her own making last weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway that resulted in her taking out herself, Travis Kvapil and boyfriend/competitor Ricky Stenhouse Jr. After emerging from her car, looking visibly upset, Patrick admitted to causing the three car accident.
“What it felt like was either I misjudged the braking or everyone jammed up a little bit,” Patrick said. “I got sideways trying to slow down so that I didn’t drive up into the back of anyone. I just got sideways and there is nothing you can do. The worst part is that you know, obviously, I didn’t want to take anybody with me. I feel bad. What can I say? We were having a reasonable race and just didn’t mean to do it.”
It was obvious that she was shaken from a hard hit to the wall and when asked if she was alright, she said yes; her voice breaking.
Patrick, the team and the rest of the Sprint Cup Series took a week off before they head in to a 17 race stretch to end the season.
During her off week, Patrick did anything but relax. She made an appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno last Tuesday where, when asked about the New Hampshire incident, she jokingly denied that it ever happened, only to be reminded with a video clip.
Leno then asked about wrecking her boyfriend to which she responded, “I did sleep on the couch that night.”
Patrick, who is known for her very firm handshake, was asked to take a grip test to see just how firm of a hold she has. A woman between the age of 30 and 34 should have a grip strength of 70 pounds. Patrick, at 31 years of age, measured a grip of 100 pounds, well over the male average as well.
Patrick’s appearance on Jay Leno showed that once she retires from racing, she could take up a career in comedy. Check out the full appearance here.
After her stint on Leno, Patrick geared up for another appearance at the ESPY Awards in Los Angeles. Patrick presented the award for favorite male athlete to LeBron James who towered over the 5’2’’ Patrick in heels.
Patrick and the team may have taken a weekend off from racing but in just a few short days, they will be back on track for the 20th running of the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, a place all too familiar to Patrick.
With seven starts in the historical Indianapolis 500, the race that catapulted Patrick to stardom in 2005, Patrick is ready to take to the track again but this time, in a stock car.