Sebastien Bourdais, three-time winner Helio Castroneves and Tony Kanaan also lost control and wrecked.
Patrick was completing the “Danica Double” after wrecking out at the Daytona 500. She decided long ago that the race that made her famous would be her last, and while she called the outcome disappointing, she also expressed appreciation for all that Indianapolis had given her.
“Yeah, it’s an entire career,” she said, “but what really launched it was this. It’s both of them. I had a lot of good fortune here and did still have some this month. It just didn’t come today.”
“I think all of my life I’ve kind of felt like you’re only as good as your last race. And it’s fine to live by that when you’re in the middle of it, because it drives you and pushes you. But for that to really be the reality of your entire career is really silly,” Patrick recently told CBS News’ Dana Jacobson.
Bourdais crashed a year after missing the race because of a harrowing, high-speed accident during qualifying, while Castroneves – who is now driving sports cars for Penske – was going for a record-tying fourth victory in the Indy 500 in a brief return to open-wheel racing.
Moments after climbing out of his wrecked car, he begged Penske for another chance.
“We’ll certainly take a good luck at that for sure,” Penske said. “He got a good run and got a little high there. You don’t see a guy like that lose it very often.”