Danica Patrick was on pace to have the best finish of her short NASCAR career, leading for a bit and running fourth for the most of the day at Road America in Elkhart, Wisconsin. (She’s currently 10 in points in the Nationwide Series, with a best finish of 8th at Texas). But at the final lap of the road course Saturday afternoon former Indy 500 champion Jacques Villeneuve punted her as a group of five cars battled to pass her.
Patrick spun off the road into the gravel, but escaped the trap and managed to snag a 12th-place result.
Villeneuve blamed the incident on the contact with Max Papis moments earlier; and he had this to say:
“When I was behind Danica and Papis was on the outside, maybe he didn’t know I was there, but down the straight, he pushed me in the grass just before I hit the brakes,” Villeneuve said. “… I couldn’t slow down because of that.”
Now you can watch the video and decide for yourself.
Discount Tire, sponsor of the No. 22 Dodge Challenger in the Nationwide Series with Penske Racing, issued this statement today regarding the June 23 incident with Jacques Villeneuve and Danica Patrick at Road America.
“Together Penske and Discount Tire have achieved great success in the Nationwide Series, including a championship, and have maintained the highest levels of integrity and sportsmanship throughout that relationship. Although we believe the contact between Villeneuve and Patrick to be unfortunate, it is a part of professional racing. However, Villeneuve’s post-race comments did not reflect our ideals regarding sportsmanship. Having said that, we continue to be very proud of our relationship with the Penske organization.”
Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Chicago Tribune.com, Fox Sports, MSN, Walter Football and Yardbarker
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