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Monday, September 15, 2014

Danica Patrick, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. tangle in wreck at Chicago — but it’s all good

NBC sports - MotorSportsTalk

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(Photo: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
 
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JOLIET, Ill. – Oh, how we’d love to be a bug on the wall when Danica Patrick and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. get home after Sunday’s MyAFibStory.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway.

Patrick was running 18th with 10 laps remaining in the opening race of the Chase for the Sprint Cup when she made contact with Stenhouse’s car.

Patrick was turned into the outside retaining wall, suffering damage to the right front end of her car, while Stenhouse suffered left front damage to his race car.

To her credit, Patrick made it back to the pits and after brief repairs by her crew, got back on the racetrack, finishing19th and on the lead lap.

Patrick was very politically correct in her take on the wreck, even though she and Stenhouse have been dating now for nearly two years.

“I heard my spotter (Brandon Benesch) say that the 14 (Patrick’s teammate, Tony Stewart) was below me on track, and I didn’t know the 17 (Stenhouse) was there on the high side of the track,” Patrick said. “My spotter took the blame on that one.

“I just didn’t know Ricky was up there, and I obviously don’t want to hit his car or anyone else with 10 laps to go. I talked with Ricky afterward, and we’re fine. It’s just a tough deal. We finished 19th even with the damage, so it was a decent run.”

Okay, that’s the public version. But oh, how we’d love to hear what they say to each other when they’re away from the media spotlight.

It wasn’t the first time Patrick and Stenhouse, who finished 17th and didn’t release any statement on the incident after the race, have tangled on the racetrack over the last four seasons, first in the Nationwide Series and the last two seasons in Sprint Cup.

Follow me @JerryBonkowski