Toyota/Save Mart 350 notes: Patrick sputters to 29th place

Published: Monday, Jun. 24, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 3C
Last Modified: Monday, Jun. 24, 2013 - 6:33 am

SONOMA – Danica Patrick, the first woman to compete in a NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Sonoma Raceway, was her own worst enemy in Sunday's Toyota/Save Mart 350.

In the No. 10 Chevrolet, Patrick spun out on Sonoma's hairpin corner on Lap 19, shortly before rain brought out an extended caution. On Lap 62, she plowed into the lawn on Turn 10 after cutting a tire. Patrick managed to work her way back onto the lead lap but finished 29th.

While competing in IndyCar, Patrick had seven prior races at Sonoma; her best finish was fifth in 2008.

Jacques Villeneuve, Patrick's road-course nemesis, didn't finish the race. The former Formula One and Indy 500 champion was knocked out of the race after only 19 laps because of trouble with his No. 51 Chevrolet.

Out of gas – Juan Pablo Montoya, another crossover from open-wheel racing and a past Sonoma winner, had the best chance of catching Sunday's winner, Martin Truex Jr.

But while racing second on the final lap, Montoya's No. 42 Chevrolet ran out of fuel. He was towed into the garage and credited with 34th place.

Rookie's rough debut – Paulie Harraka, well-known to All American Speedway fans, got off to a bad start in his Sprint Cup debut at Sonoma. Harraka, who qualified 40th, got into a fender bender before the green flag.

During the parade lap in the No. 52 Ford, Harraka rear-ended Alex Kennedy's No. 19 Toyota, which had stopped short in front of him.

Despite the damage, Harraka started the race. But on Lap 6, he made contact with the Turn 2 barrier and brought out the day's first caution. With a crumbled hood and lots of tape, Harraka managed to get back on track and finished 39th, 21 laps down.

Harraka, 23, began his NASCAR career as a developmental driver for Antelope's Bill McAnally Racing.

They've got the beat – Sacramento's Grant Union High School provided some of the pre-race entertainment. The Pacers' Drumline marched through the paddock as part of a show that included jet flyovers and a vintage stock car parade.

Call The Bee's Debbie Arrington, (916) 321-1075. Follow her on Twitter @debarrington.

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