NASCAR legend Jimmie Johnson has crashed out, while Danika Patrick’s racing career has ended in Daytona 500 carnage after both drivers were respectively involved in nasty late-stage wrecks.
In a wild battle for the Stage 1 win, Johnson was one of several contenders that were taken out with one lap to go, with Erik Jones and Daniel Suarez involved in the wreck as well. William Byron and Ty Dillon were also caught up in the mess.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. made an impressive save before caution was brought out.
Johnson, a seven-time series winner and dual winner of the great American race, was left disappointed after the wreck.
“There was some great racing throughout, but unfortunately many thought that was the black and white chequered flag, not the green and white chequered flag,” Johnson said post-crash.
“On Lap 59 to be throwing blocks and stuff like that, it’s left a lot of wrecked race cars.
“We’ll get to work and go to Atlanta next week, but it’s disappointing for the team.”
Kurt Busch took out the first stage.
Meanwhile, Patrick was caught up in her own wreck late in Stage 2.
Chase Elliott went spinning on the back-stretch, consequently taking out Patrick, Kasey Kahne, Michael McDowell, David Ragan and Brad Keselowski in the process. Kevin Harvick’s car also picked up significant damage.
Patrick was pragmatic after her incident.
“The car was a lot better than what it was in the dual, it was a lot better than in practice. My crew chief did an awesome job, the whole team did a really good job,” Patrick told Fox Sports.
“I feel like the whole thing was picture-perfect with GoDaddy on the car and to be in that green again. But it just wasn’t meant to be I guess.
“That’s the gamble of Daytonas. They can go so well and they can go so awful, so Im grateful for everything.”
More to come …