AVONDALE, Ariz. — By the time the race ended, it wasn’t clear where the paint job of Danica Patrick’s car ended and the black repair tape holding it together started.
Patrick’s No. 10 Chevrolet was collected in a multi-car crash midway through Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway. Justin Allgaier and Travis Kvapil also were involved.
She was running about 25th at the time, one lap behind the leaders. After her pit crew taped up the car’s crumpled body during several pit stops, she was able to continue.
But 15 laps later her left rear tire was cut, sending Patrick into a spin that put her farther behind.
“All we have for luck is bad,” Patrick said over her team radio.
She finished 36th in the 43-car field, six laps behind winner Kevin Harvick.
Stout Team Penske
The two drivers for Team Penske, Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano, were strong throughout the race even though they couldn’t get their Fords past the Chevrolets of Harvick and second-place Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Keselowski and Logano finished third and fourth, respectively, though Harvick said he fretted about one of the Penske cars slipping past him on one of the restarts late in the race.
“We had a really good car, just not as good as” Harvick’s No. 4 Chevy, Logano said. “That No. 4 car was just so fast.”
Keselowski said it was “everything we could do to get up there and get third. Nobody had anything for Kevin.”
There are several rookies in the Cup series this year and they mostly struggled Sunday at the one-mile Phoenix International oval, where passing is known to be difficult.
Kyle Larson, who wound up 20th, was the only rookie to finish on the same lap as the leaders.
Among the other first-year drivers: Austin Dillon finished 24th, Cole Whitt was 27th and Allgaier finished 30th.