Danica Patrick made her way to the 13th position in the AdvoCare 500 when veteran driver Jeff Burton got a run on her and punted the driver of the No. 10, causing her to spin in the green-white-checkered finish.
NASCAR should have thrown a caution flag with smoke pouring from her damaged car, but it was not to be.
With her vision block by the smoke, Patrick headed for the inside wall. The No. 10 was actually on fire and had dumped a great deal of oil on the track.
As other drivers came through the oil, chaos broke out with cars wrecking and Patrick got airborne after being hit and sent back across the track.
It was unfortunate that many drivers could see the oil on the track, but NASCAR officials could not.
Jeff Gluck of SB Nation reported that vice president of competition for NASCAR Robin Pemberton stated, "It's easy to look back on it obviously, and wish that you did something different. But at the time it didn't appear like there was any fluid that was coming out of the car."
Patrick was unofficially scored with a 17th-place finish, which was her best finish of the 10-race test run with a Cup car this season in preparation for her full-time schedule next season.
Under the guidance of her new veteran crew chief Tony Gibson, Patrick has had her two best finishes of the 2012 season. She finished 24th in Texas last week at the AAA Texas 500.
Gibson was disappointed that she wasn't able to at least finish 12th or better at Phoenix, but pleased with her performance.
The unfortunate incident with Burton did spoil Patrick's day at Phoenix, but thankfully she was safe and her run in the AdvoCare 500 is encouraging for her 2013 season.
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