- The Daytona 500 was marred by another big crash that took out several race favorites.
- The crash also took out Danica Patrick, ending her NASCAR career as she will retire from the circuit after the race.
- Patrick now has one race left in her career, back where it started, the Indianapolis 500.
The Daytona 500 got off to a wild start at the end of Stage 1 when drivers going for the stage win got aggressive and caused a big wreck that took out seven-time NASCAR champ Jimmie Johnson and popular pick to win, Daniel Suarez.
About 40 laps later, the Daytona 500 had another big wreck towards the end of Stage 2 that took out more race favorites and effectively ended the career of Danica Patrick.
Patrick is retiring from the NASCAR circuit after the race and with just one other race scheduled in her career, the Indianapolis 500 later this year.
But on Lap 102, two race favorites, Brad Keselowski and Chase Elliott, bumped as they raced near the lead. Elliott spun several times, taking out cars behind him, and Keselowski lost control when he went down on the apron.
The wreck also knocked out another race favorite, Kevin Harvick.
And Patrick, as seen from the on-board camera in Alex Bowman’s car.
Patrick’s last ride at Daytona, a race that has always been arguably her best track, seemingly got off to a good start when she was accompanied by new love interest Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers.
The sports power couple even got in some pre-race PDA.
Patrick never won a NASCAR race, but she did have seven top-10s, including an 8th place finish at the 2013 Daytona 500 and three top-8 finishes in 2014. She is also considered the most successful female driver in NASCAR history.
is considered the most successful female driver in NASCAR history.