Danica Patrick on IndyCar crash: "It was like a movie scene"

LAS VEGAS - OCTOBER 16: Danica Patrick, driver of the #7 Andretti Autosport Dallara Honda, is consoled by a crew member after Dan Wheldon of England was pronounced dead after he was involved in a 15 car massive crash during the Las Vegas Indy 300 part of the IZOD IndyCar World Championships presented by Honda on October 16, 2011 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images) Robert Laberge/Getty Images

LAS VEGAS - OCTOBER 16: Danica Patrick, driver of the #7 Andretti Autosport Dallara Honda, is consoled by a crew member after Dan Wheldon of England was pronounced dead after he was involved in a 15 car massive crash during the Las Vegas Indy 300 part of the IZOD IndyCar World Championships presented by Honda on October 16, 2011 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
Danica Patrick, driver of the #7 Andretti Autosport Dallara Honda, is consoled by a crew member after Dan Wheldon was pronounced dead after a 15 car massive crash during the Las Vegas Indy 300
Robert Laberge/Getty Images

(CBS) - After seven years of racing, Danica Patrick parked her IndyCar for the last time. She had been upbeat going into her last race as a full-time driver. But then a 15-car pileup turned the day into one of the darkest in the sport's history. In an interview after the crash, Patrick related what she saw of the catastrophic crash that ended up taking racer Dan Wheldon's life.

"It was like a movie scene which they try to make as gnarly as possible," Patrick said in a live interview on ABC (before the news of Wheldon's death). "It was debris everywhere across the whole track. You could smell the smoke. You could see the billowing smoke on the back straight from the car. There was a chunk of fire that we were driving around. You could see cars scattered."

A visibly shaken Patrick had trouble finishing her words before saying, "You just don't want to be in that position."

Patrick was behind Wheldon in the race and narrowly avoided one of the flaming cars that were launched airborne.

It was a dark way to end what has been a record-setting career for Patrick. She is the only female driver to ever win an IndyCar event - the Japan 300 in 2008. She has also been named the most popular driver in Indy racing for years. She was named rookie of the year in 2005, the same year Dan Wheldon won his first Indy 500.


  • Bailey Johnson

Comments

CBSN Live

pop-out
Live Video

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.