Danica at Daytona: Pictures from the Nationwide Series Crash
Danica's much publicized debut into the NASCAR Nationwide series ended when a multitude of cars started wrecking in front of her.
The "Big One" started at one end of the tri-oval and ended at the other.
Inside you will see a sequence of pictures as the crash unfolds, what Danica saw, or did not see, and how maybe she could have avoided it all together.
First up is Danica bundled up as she rides in the back of a Chevrolet Silverado just after driver introductions.
***Photo Credits: David L. Yeazell***
All photos are copyrighted David L. Yeazell
As the crash unfolded ahead of Patrick's position on the race track, a decision was made to drive through the wreckage.
In this photo the car to Danica's right is already missing the complete front end. A huge chunk of that wreckage is lying directly in front of Patrick. It is however still sliding along the race track forward and moving left of Danica's car.
In this photo Patrick has made it through the wreckage.
The left front wheel is turned out, but the car pushes up the race track and crashes into the outside wall.
Patrick would later say her field of view was heavily distorted because of all the tire smoke.
She suggested it would be great if Goodyear could make a tire that did not smoke when it was skidding.
Patrick may have sustained tire damage when passing through the debris field causing the car to steer into the wall.
Bumper Car's Continues
As the crashing field continues through the tri-oval grass, Patrick's car is out of camera shot, but is rolling backwards down the track into the infield grass.
In this picture Brian Scott's Toyota slides sideways on the infield grass and destroys the painted logo.
The No. 31 of Stanton Barrett gets airborne as it sandwiches between the No. 10 of Jason Leffler and the No. 61 of Josh Wise.
Wise was credited with starting the chain reaction crash.
Resting: For Now
Patrick's car has slid back down the race track and now comes to rest with the other cars.
Trying in vain to restart the engine, Patrick would finally be successful and try driving away.
Get a Grip
After spinning the tires over and over again, here Patrick finally gets the car out of the grass and back onto the hard surface.
There was so much grass and mud stuck to the tires, it took several moments for the tires to finally grip the pavement.
Careful, Something Isn't Feeling Right.
Patrick re-fired the engine and was able get the car out of the grass and back onto the track.
Here you can see the smoke from Patrick spinning the back tires. As hard as she tried to get the car to turn, it wasn't happening.
Severe damage to the right front made it all be impossible for Patrick to steer. As she tried in vain to go left, the damaged No. 23 of Robert Richardson Jr. has to hit the brakes to avoid hitting Patrick's car.
Watch Your Back
Patrick's car stalls and once again starts backing down the race track.
As Richardson Jr. avoids hitting the front of Patrick's car, the No. 21 of Jon Wes Townley, who came through the wreck in good shape, has to take evasive action to avoid hitting a sliding Patrick in the rear.
Headed for the Garage
In this picture you can see Patrick's car sitting on the apron out of harms way. To the right rear of the car, laying on the track, you can see whats left of the brake ventilation housing.
With tire damage and severe damage to the right front of the car, Patrick once again starts the car and heads for pit road and eventually ends up in the garage.
Several cars ahead of Patrick, and behind the initial crash, took evasive action and came down pit road. Those cars returned to the track with no damage.
This probably would have been the best move for the No. 7 Chevrolet. It's not clear if Danica chose the course of action she took, or if her spotter guided her away from pit road.
What ever the case, her debut at Daytona, in both races, was a good one and she showed she has the skill to compete.
But, even she admitted, she still has a lot to learn.
Can We Fix it?
With the chain reaction finally over, clean up begins and cars are being hooked to wreckers, a Nationwide official points Jason Leffler's damaged car into the garage area.
As Leffler was making the left turn off of pit road, his bumper swung around and almost took out the official.