Danica Patrick crashed again this past weekend during the Sprint Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway, and this was a wreck that should have been avoided.
There have been instances where Patrick’s crashes have been inescapable and unlucky, which was the case earlier this year in Montreal when a shoe thrown onto the track by a spectator wrecked her car (via Nick Bromberg of Yahoo! Sports).
But this was a case where the crash was entirely her fault. She became frustrated with Landon Cassill in the No. 83 car, and an ill-advised attempt to bump him on lap 155 resulted in her day being cut short.
Patrick felt that her decision was entirely justified, although Fox Sports’ Lee Spencer did not as she called it “a product of frustration.” Her only regret was the damage done to her car, and she said the following, via Spencer’s report.
He got into me on the front straight and said, ‘I was just in the way.’ That's really no good reason to hit me. If it's one time, I can imagine it's frustration, but it's been quite a few times with him.
At some point I have to stand up for myself, so this doesn't happen with other people. I chose today. The bummer about it is that my car is out, and he's still out there going, so I've got to work on how to do that.
Cassill, unsurprisingly, did not agree with this assessment of the incident, and claimed that Patrick brought on the altercation that led to the crash. He said the following, also per Spencer’s report.
I didn’t hit her because she was in the way. I hit her because she was driving like a maniac for 30th when the race was playing into all our favors. ... All we had to do was let the race come into our hands and not wreck ourselves in the process.
Bickering aside, Patrick must look back on this race and realize that she made a mistake by losing her temper. The damage done to her car should be a powerful reminder of this.
She admitted to wrecking Cassill due to frustration, and getting even is significantly less important than finishing a race, regardless of how angry or annoyed she was with Cassill.
The result is what matters most, and Patrick placed 32nd while Cassill finished 18th. Whatever statement she was attempting to make will not speak louder than these numbers.
All she is left with after trying to wreck Cassill is a banged up car, and it did not have to be this way.