|Jared Tilton, Getty Images|
Danica Patrick is not happy with Denny Hamlin.
The Stewart Haas Racing driver confronted her Joe Gibbs Racing rival following a crash late in Thursday night’s second Budweiser Duel at Daytona qualifier, roughly 24 hours after a similar backstretch practice crash cost Patrick her primary race car.
Patrick was comfortably qualified in eighth place Thursday when Hamlin pulled up on her rear bumper, causing the GoDaddy.com/TaxAct Chevrolet to spin. Video replays revealed no contact between the two, and while Patrick rebounded to finish 10th and qualify for Sunday’s Daytona 500, she leapt from her car to confront Hamlin on pit road after the race.
"You did the same f---ing thing in practice,” said Patrick. “You did the same thing."
"I didn't hit you,” countered Hamlin. “I did not touch you."
The Fed Ex Toyota driver said Patrick’s car was handling poorly, causing it to spin when he pulled in behind her and took the air off her rear spoiler.
"You gotta tighten up it, Danica,” he said. “I gave you an extra two feet...”
|Phelan M. Ebenhack/AP|
"You gave me nothing,” said Patrick. “It spun my back end around. You get on my left-rear and it spins me out. You did the same thing (Wednesday). It happened twice. The same person, the same way."
"Guess what,” countered Hamlin. “I didn't hit you either time."
Hamlin said he had no choice but to run close in the races, whether or not Patrick’s car was loose.
“Does that mean, ‘Oh my god, she's loose (so) I can't run next to her?' What should I do?" he asked.
"It just means don't be up my ass on my left corner,” she replied.
Patrick’s team owner, Tony Stewart, also jumped into the fray, telling Hamlin, "That's two (wrecked race cars) this week, bud."
“I never touched her,” repeated Hamlin. “What do you want me to do, not run close? I'm friends with you and her. Stop this s--t, man."
"That ain't going to fly when you're crashing," said Stewart.
Patrick will start 20th in Sunday’s Daytona 500, with Hamlin slated to roll off 42nd.