Dale Earnhardt Jr. didn’t have a way to slow down – he had breaking trouble all night – so he ran into the back of Danica Patrick with 61 laps to go.
Patrick was angry with Earnhardt after the incident. She cursed at him on the team radio and ran into the back of him as both cars came to pit road.
“I mean, what am I supposed to say other than the truth?” Earnhardt said, via USA Today Sports. “We didn’t have any brakes going into the corner. I know better than to run into her because it gets so much attention. There wasn’t nothing I could do.”
Earnhardt was a bit perplexed by her reaction.
“I mean, as hard as I hit her, what the hell did she think I was doing? Trying to wreck her?” he said, sounding in disbelief. “We ain’t got no problem. It’s not like we were having a problem out on the racetrack with her. It’s not like I just drew her name out of a hat and decided she was the one I was going to run into tonight.”
Patrick was told twice of Earnhardt’s brake problems after the incident.
“It’s hard not to (get upset and retaliate) if you are in her shoes,” he said. “But it makes me mad because I didn’t have any brakes. I didn’t do that on purpose. I don’t know. She will chill out. It happens to all of us. I’m not too worried about it.”