Danica Patrick slammed into the outside wall during lap 39 of the 100-lap… (AJ Mast / Associated Press )
INDIANAPOLIS -- Danica Patrick's return to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in a stock car ended in a hard crash less than halfway through Saturday's Indiana 250.
Patrick, the former IndyCar driver who now races in NASCAR's second-tier Nationwide Series, was running about 20th when the top five race leaders made pit stops.
Patrick remained on the track and was running behind Reed Sorenson. As the two entered Turn 1 on lap 39 of the 100-lap race, Patrick's No. 7 Chevrolet tapped the back of Sorenson's No. 98 Ford, sending Sorenson into a spin.
As Sorenson swung sideways, Patrick ran into him and then she slammed into the outside wall, her car sustaining heavy damage. Neither driver was hurt.
"I was trying to go around him; it's just a bummer," Patrick said in a TV interview. "I'm sorry if I did anything. He was slowing it down quite a bit.
"It's just unfortunate for our day," said Patrick, who started the race in 20th. "It's a big race, big weekend."
This was the first time that Nationwide Series cars had raced at the famed 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Kyle Busch was leading after 50 laps, followed by Brad Keselowski and Ty Dillon.
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