The Ottumwa Courier

AP Sports

March 3, 2014

5 things to know about the Phoenix NASCAR race

(Continued)

ROUGH DAY FOR DANICA: Danica Patrick had a rough weekend at what's essentially her home track.

Patrick, who lives in the Phoenix area, struggling in NASCAR's new knockout qualifying, starting 33rd, and didn't have much luck once the race started, either.

She was involved in a crash with Justin Allgaier around the race's midpoint and the damage to her fender caused the rear left tire to blow out a few laps later, sending her back to the pits.

Patrick had an animated discussion with Allgaier following the race and finished 36th after crashing at the Daytona 500 last week.

JOHNSON'S DAY: Jimmie Johnson spent the last part of the 2013 season focusing on winning the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship, a decision that led to his sixth series title.

He expected it to him for the start of the 2014 season.

The No. 48 team didn't participate in test sessions with the 2014 car package in Charlotte at the end of last year, so the team was a little behind to start this season.

Even so, Johnson managed to finish sixth at Phoenix after a fifth at the Daytona 500.

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