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No fairytale ending for Danica in final Daytona 500

Orlando Sentinel
February 18. 2018 9:21PM
NASCAR Cup Series driver Danica Patrick (7) with driver Chase Elliott (9) and driver Kasey Kahne (95) wreck out of turn three during the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway. (John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports)

NASCAR Cup Series driver Danica Patrick (7) shares a kiss with her boyfriend Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers prior to the start of the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway. (John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports)

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — There was no fairy-tale ending for Danica Patrick.

There was no checkered flag; no trip to Victory Lane and no Cinderella story in her final NASCAR race.

Instead, Patrick wound up a casual bystander after her No. 7 GoDaddy Chevrolet got caught up in a crash in Turn 3 halfway through the 200 lap race that ended her day prematurely.

Chase Elliott tried to block Brad Keselowski but instead, it turned into a seven-car accident that would wind up engulfing Patrick in its wake.

“(It was) just a superspeedway accident,” a disappointed Patrick said. “We weren’t the fastest car out there but the car was competitive and that’s what’s important.

“I’m just sad that it ended that way.”

Patrick said she hopes she was able to deliver fun to all of the people who were out there watching her race.

“I love to fulfill the storybook but we didn’t get to do that today,” she said.

Patrick, 35, wraps up her time at Daytona with 12 career starts with her best finish at the Daytona 500 being eighth back in 2013. Her average career finish at the track was 25th.

This was the third straight time she’s wrecked out of a Daytona 500 race. The 103 laps she finished Sunday was the fewest number in her short career at Daytona International Speedway.

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