Danica Patrick was fined and placed on probation Thursday for walking on a hot track after a wreck in last Sunday’s Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway.
Patrick was fined $20,000 and placed on probation through the next four Cup races after violating a rule implanted in 2014 following the death of Kevin Ward Jr. in a sprint car race. NASCAR’s Tony Stewart struck and killed Ward as he walked down the track toward Stewart’s car while the race was under caution.
The rule prohibits drivers or crew members from approaching any portion of the racing surface or the apron when the race is in progress.
Patrick was running 19th when the incident occurred on Lap 120 entering Turn 1. Kasey Kahne was one lap down in 31st-place. He finished 28th. Before the wreck, Patrick said she had a run on Kahne and went low to avoid him.
After the wreck, Patrick climbed from the No. 10 Chevy and walked up the apron of the track to gesture toward Kahne’s car rather than waiting for the safety vehicle to pick her up and carry her to the infield care center.