FONTANA, Calif. — Danica Patrick dropped out with engine failure near the midway point of the Nationwide race at Auto Club Speedway on Saturday, finishing 35th in another disappointing result during her first full season in the series.
Patrick’s car picked up debris in the front grill at some point early in the race, apparently puncturing her radiator. The JR Motorsports Chevrolet eventually seized.
“That’s just what happened,” Patrick said. “It’s not a Chevy issue. It’s not a team issue. It’s just a bad luck issue, and unfortunately, I feel like we’ve been catching a fair amount of it at the beginning of the season.”
Patrick hasn’t finished higher than 12th in five Nationwide races this season.
INDYCAR SERIES: In St. Petersburg, Fla., Will Power led a strong Penske Racing effort in qualifying for the season opener by winning the pole for the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.
Power set an IndyCar track record of 1:01.3721 over the winding 1.8-mile course through the streets of St. Petersburg.
Penske teammate Ryan Briscoe qualified second at 1:01.5357.
FORMULA ONE: In Sepang, Malaysia, McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton won the pole position for the Formula One Malaysian Grand Prix.
Hamilton made it back-to-back poles to start the season. Teammate Jenson Button was second.