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Broken rear gear derails Danica's day at Indy

July 27, 2014, Staff report,

Incident took place after Patrick had been running mostly in top 15

A promising run in the Crown Royal Presents, The John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard didn't produce the result Danica Patrick was hoping for at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Patrick, who spent 34 laps in the top 15, broke a rear gear when she exited her pit box on Lap 69 during a green-flag stop. Her No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS stalled with plenty of smoke coming from it, and NASCAR threw a caution flag.

"It looks like the locker broke in the rear end," crew chief Tony Gibson said. "There is a locker spring, and that's what tells the right rear to spin versus the left rear and both of them together. From what I can see, visually, it looks like the locker spring broke. So nothing would spin other than the right-rear tire."

Patrick brought the car to the garage as her Stewart-Haas Racing team worked to get her back in the race.

"We changed the transmission and all that just to be sure," Gibson said. "You don't see it all that often, but with what we are asking these things to do, dropping off the jack and going at 9,800 rpm, it doesn't take much to break them. We had a fast car and I'm proud of what the team did."

Patrick returned to the race 28 laps down for the Lap 101 restart. She would go on to finish the race in 42nd and completed only 114 laps.

"We looked at everything and it looks like the launch was fine," Patrick said. "It just one of those things. It's too bad and these things never happen when you're having a bad day (laughs). We were having a good day.

"It's disappointing and the GoDaddy guys built me a really good car. Hendrick gave me great horsepower. We were the fastest car out there at times. We qualified better and had a good car for the race, it just didn't end the way we wanted it too. The good thing is, I get to come back to Indy and that makes me happy."

Sunday's race marked Patrick's second start at Indianapolis in the Sprint Cup Series. She made seven starts in an IndyCar in the Indianapolis 500.


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