Danica Patrick was involved in a multi-car accident in the opening minutes of Wednesday's practice at Daytona International Speedway, forcing her to switch to a backup car.
The incident occurred on the backstretch where Denny Hamlin dove out from behind Patrick but bumped into her. Hamlin then made slight contact with Casey Mears. Patrick's No. 10 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet made hard contact with the wall before it spun down the track and slid on the infield grass. Her primary car for Sunday's Daytona 500 and Thursday's Budweiser Duel (twin- qualifying races for the Daytona 500) was damaged beyond repair.
Michael Annett and Jeb Burton were also involved in the incident.
"I went through the middle, and it was really wide, but it just closed as soon as I had already got inside of (Patrick), and the lane closed," Hamlin said. "It knocked me into the 13 (Casey Mears), and we had some attrition after that."
Neither Patrick nor any other driver involved in the wreck was injured. Patrick will have to start from the rear of the field in the second race of the Budweiser Duel since she is using a backup car.
"I'm obviously disappointed, and I know that it was a good car, and it's never a good thing to crash," Patrick said. "I was just riding along and it turned, so it's the nature of pack racing. That's what makes it challenging. Sometimes there's not much you can do about it. I could have collected more people, and it wouldn't have been anything that they were a part of. But that's just group racing at Daytona. That's the gamble that we all face."
Annett and Burton also had to go to backup cars. Hamlin's No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota had slight cosmetic damage, and his team was able to repair it in time for Wednesday's second practice session.