Thursday, January 18, 2018
Sports

Tampa's Aric Almirola involved in fiery crash that includes Danica Patrick, Joey Logano

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Tampa's Aric Almirola was involved in a fiery wreck that also knocked Danica Patrick and Joey Logano out of Saturday night's Go Bowling 400.

Safety crews cut the roof off Almirola's car to get him out. Almirola, described by NASCAR officials as alert and awake, was placed on a backboard and taken to the infield care center, then airlifted to a hospital for further observation and evaluation.

Patrick and Logano appeared to escape injury.

The red flag in the Monster Energy Cup race lasted 27 minutes, 41 seconds. The oft-delayed night race finally finished when Martin Truex Jr. ended his string of bad luck at Kansas Speedway, pulling away from Ryan Blaney and Kevin Harvick on a late restart to win.

Truex dominated the same event a year ago before a fluke problem during a tire change forced him to make an unscheduled pit stop and cost him the race. He's had plenty of other close calls at Kansas, leading laps but never finding his way to victory lane.

Brad Keselowski made a pass on the final lap to take second, followed by Harvick and Blaney. Kyle Busch finished fifth after winning the Truck Series race Friday night.

Of the crash, Logano said: "Something broke in the car, I don't know what it was. I tried to check up but you're going 215 miles per hour. I'm praying for Aric right now.''

Logano, who apparently had a mechanical failure on the front end, turned into Patrick entering the first turn and sent her No. 10 car headfirst into the wall, where it burst into flames. Almirola then plowed into Logano's car as it skidded along the wall, the impact sending the rear of the No. 43 into the air. Almirola's car stopped near the outside fence.

Patrick quickly got out of her flaming car. When Logano tried to speak to her as they got into an ambulance, Patrick appeared to brusquely brush him off.

Patrick was running 11th in one of her best races of the season (her top finish is 17th at Atlanta) and Logano was running 12th with 67 laps to go.

After she was checked out, Patrick wasn't happy with Logano.

"He said it was a failure of some sort, which didn't make me feel better in that moment,'' she said. "I don't understand why so much bad luck happens. I mean, why? What else can I say?

"What can I do but laugh about it. Every time I'm doing better, something stupid happens. … I hope Aric is okay. He's definitely feeling the worst of everybody.''

INDYCAR: Will Power won the IndyCar Grand Prix for his first victory of the season, leading 61 of 85 laps and easily holding off Scott Dixon on Indianapolis Motor Speedway's road course. With his 30th victory, Power broke a tie for 11th on the career list with teammate Helio Castroneves and former Penske driver Rick Mears. Power gave Team Penske, which led every lap for the second straight race, its third straight victory this season and third in a row on the 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course. After winning the pole Friday in a track-record time, Power only surrendered the lead twice Saturday — both after pit stops. Ryan Hunter-Reay was third, more than 12 seconds behind Power. Simon Pagenaud finished fourth.

FORMULA ONE: Lewis Hamilton took the pole position ahead of points leader Sebastian Vettel at the Spanish Grand Prix in Montmelo, Spain. It is the 19th pole in 20 races for Mercedes. Vettel was 0.051 behind in qualifying for today's race.

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