Updated 03:49 PM EST, Fri, Dec 04, 2020

Danica Patrick Lags Behind at Brickyard 400 Due to Broken Axle

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Danica Patrick was owning the Brickyard 400 track, steadily turning up in the Top 20 through most of the first 60 laps—but on the 67th lap, a rear gear broke. Her No. 10 Chevrolet hurled off the track, Fox 59 reported, and the "ready to win" feeling she had—holding 14th position on Saturday—skidded off with her.

In her sophomore season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and with Stewart-Haas Racing, Patrick has ascribed to her name three Top 10 finishes and one career pole in Sprint Cup, USA Today said, but the Sunday incident at Indianapolis Motor Speedway shunned her from the Top 15 finish.

"It's just one of those things," Patrick said, as quoted in the report. "It's too bad and these things never happen when you're having a bad day. We were having a good day... It's disappointing and the GoDaddy guys built me a really good car."

"These are just the things that happen and they never happen when you're having a bad race... They only ever happen when you're having a good race," said Patrick in a Fox 59 report. She seemed frustrated while her car was undergoing repair, it added, with her unit going back on track 28 laps down.

At the 21st running of the Brickyard, just six races left to qualify for the Chase, her only way to the 16-driver playoff was to win a race until the final qualifiers at Richmond, NBC Sports said. However, she appeared to have issues from the get-go, it added.

The issues ultimately got in her way when, getting ready to head back to the track, smoke came out of her vehicle's rear, the report added. Patrick reportedly began taking off her firesuit, an indication her day was done. She ultimately decided by lap 142 that she was over with the game, returning her unit car to the garage, USA Today added.

"There is a locker spring and that's what tells the right rear to spin versus the left rear and both of them together," explained crew chief Tony Gibson, as quoted in the report. "From what I can see, visually, it looks like the locker spring broke ... with what we are asking these things to do, dropping off the jack and going at 9,800 rpm, it doesn't take much to break them.

She had only 114 of the 160 laps, checking in at a disappointing 42nd out of 43 cars, USA Today said. It was her second consecutive disappointing Sprint Cup race at Indianapolis.

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