Danica Patrick confronted Denny Hamlin after the Budweiser Duel races at Daytona International Speedway on Thursday after Hamlin ran too close, damaging Patrick's car and nearly costing her a spot in the field for Sunday’s Daytona 500.
During the second 150-mile qualifying race on Thursday, Patrick was eighth with three laps to go and needed to finish in the top 15 to qualify for the race.
Hamlin came up behind Patrick’s No. 10 Chevrolet twice, causing her to spin out and collide with Bobby Labonte and Brian Scott. Patrick’s car ending up on the grass and, after numerous pit stops to repair the damage to her car, the race restarted with Patrick in 18th place.
Patrick finished 10th with help from her teammate Kurt Busch. Patrick, who will start the Daytona 500 in the 20th position, immediately went to Hamlin after the race.
"You hit me in the left rear and spun me out. Yesterday you did the same thing," Patrick said, according to the Associated Press. "What is up? Nobody else left me with a problem."
Hamlin tried to explain himself, saying, "Nobody has your back like I have. Stop and listen to me. Listen to me. I gave you an extra two feet because it was you."
Tony Stewart, Patrick’s car co-owner, then entered the fray to confront Hamlin, holding up two fingers to signal that was the second time Hamlin wrecked Patrick’s car this week.
"You need to watch the video of it ... that ain't gonna fly when you're crashing (expletive)" Stewart said.
Jeff Gordon is on the pole for the race, followed by Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt, Jr., who won the Budweiser Duel races.
- Scooby Axson