With eight laps remaining in the Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 race, drivers Danica Patrick and Matt Kenseth collided at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama on Sunday. Patrick hit the interior wall and Kenseth’s car flipped over, with a total of 12 cars involved.

Danica Patrick Crash With Matt Kenseth

Patrick’s car, bumped from behind by Michael McDowell, slid in front of the track, hit No. 20 Toyota Camry driver Kenseth hard, and then sailed at near-full speed into the backstretch inside wall, her Chevrolet erupting into flames. Kenseth also hit the wall very hard while flipping, riding the wall upside-down and rolling back on the track.

After a long time in the infield medical center, Patrick finally emerged, evidently shaken not only by her accident but also by the overall wild atmosphere of the day.

A half-hour after the accident, she said her chest hurt when she breathed and that she had bruises from the wreck. She said a chest x-ray showed no serious injuries.

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“I’m pretty sure I got hit, and the car spun toward the inside wall,” Patrick said. “It hit really hard. Everything — the steering wheel — is way out of place. I hit my foot. Hit my arm. There was fire inside the car. It kind of knocked the breath out of me a little bit.”

Kenseth climbed from his crashed racer nearby, and Patrick leaned over to catch her breath. She added that the fire inside the car caused her to be “probably the most scared” she has ever been in a race car.

“That was the worst one (wreck) so far. I have decent bruises on my arm and foot. I hit a wall at 200. And my chest hurts when I breathe.”

Patrick, 34, has been racing at the top levels of the sport — and often at speeds exceeding 200 miles per hour — since debuting in the IndyCar series in 2005.

“We all kind of raced to halfway, then all raced to the rain that was coming and all raced to the end,” she said. “The whole race we were racing like we were racing to the end. There were no moments to relax. I’m sure that expanded peoples’ comfort zone at the end of the race because we were used to running close. Then some people took it to the edge.”

During the first pit stop of Sunday’s race, Patrick was also side-swiped by contact with No. 27 Chevrolet SS driver Paul Menard. Pitting among the leaders, Patrick was trying to cut across to her pit box early on pit road when she slid across the nose of Menard’s car. The two made contact and ended up stopping near the entrance to the pit road, with Patrick ending nose first toward the wall.

KANNAPOLIS, NC – AUGUST 18: (R-L) Danica Patrick, driver of the #10 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet, Tony Stewart, co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing, Sam Marson and Dave Marson, founders of Nature’s Bakery, pose for a photo opportunity after announcing a multiyear deal partnership during a press conference on August 18, 2015 in Kannapolis, North Carolina. The partnership will begin with the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season.

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