One of the truisms of NASCAR racing is that cautions breed cautions.
Such was the case in Sunday’s Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway.
On Lap 31, just after a restart for the end of Stage 1, Kyle Larson, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Danica Patrick tried to go three-wide entering Turn 4.
It did not end well.
Larson, who was on the inside of the track, made contact with Earnhardt in the middle, who in turn went up into Patrick.
After the contact, Patrick’s Stewart-Haas Racing Ford turned around and she collected the Roush Fenway Racing Ford driven by boyfriend Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Stenhouse got the worst of it, his car heavily damaged.
The damage was severe enough to knock Stenhouse out of the race. He was officially listed as finishing 38th and last in the field.
Afterward, Stenhouse was understandably not happy.
“I didn’t need to see the replay, I was sitting in the seat,” he said. “They were three-wide in front of us trying to go through Turn 4, which never works. They were all dive-bombing each other and then the 10 (Patrick) got spinning and I tried to go low and she just kept coming down the track. We just clipped it a little bit and tore the left front up too bad to continue.
“It is a bummer for our day. We felt like we had probably a decent Sonoma car for us,” Stenhouse said. “Really just wanted to get out there and make laps. I thought we were decent on the long run, just trying to get there.”