Things got heated up on Martinsville Speedway on Sunday when driver Danica Patrick intentionally crashed into David Gilliland’s No. 38 car during a Sprint Cup race.
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The collision is reported to have stemmed from an earlier scuffle between the two drivers, in which Gilliland pushed Patrick’s No. 10 Chevrolet up against the outer wall.
This isn’t the first time that Patrick and Gilliland have bumped heads – or cars – on the track. Ever since the former 2005 Indy 500 Rookie of the Year transitioned to NASCAR in 2010, she and Gilliland frequently shared the same spot in the races.
During a Kansas Speedway race in 2013, Patrick warned, "He tries to take me out every time. Tell his spotter that I'm coming after him if he does it again. In fact, I might just do it right now."
Gilliland responded to the “threat” with a brief “Shut up and race.”
As a result of the offense, Patrick was given a $50,000 fine and took off 25 series championship driver points. She is also banned from participating in any of the NASCAR races until the end of the year. It is worth noting that the damage on Patrick’s car was far greater than that of Gilliland’s
Aside from Patrick, Matt Kenseth also got penalties when he also deliberately wrecked Joey Logano’s No. 22 car on the same race.
In a previous race on the Kansas Speedway, Logano had hit Kenseth, causing the latter to spin out of the lead. Kenseth claims that the contact was intentional, which prompted him to retaliate.
NASCAR gave Kenseth a two-race suspension as well as a six-month probation period.