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LONG POND, Pa. (AP) - Pocono was a race to forget for NASCAR's first couple.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was wrecked on the first lap. Danica Patrick lost control of her car and caused a four-car crash.

They'll probably skip the TV highlights when they get home.

Stenhouse was first to get hit after Juan Pablo Montoya tagged him heading into the first turn. Both drivers spun and crashed into the wall.

"I was just thinking to myself on that pace lap that before we went green, I was kind of hoping everyone would stay in line since we haven't had much track time this weekend," Stenhouse said. "It didn't play out like that though."

After a stint in the garage for repairs, Stenhouse returned and finished 34th.

Right behind him in 35th? His girlfriend, Patrick.

Patrick had a solid day by her standard and was running in the teens until she triggered a four-car crash that also collected Jeff Burton, Travis Kvapil and Paul Menard.

Burton, needing a strong finish to put the Chase on his radar, was visibly crushed when he got out of his car on the track. He pounded his car in frustration, though he refused to blame Patrick.

Crew chief Tony Gibson threw his arm around Patrick to console her in the garage, her mangled No. 10 Chevrolet nearby.

"We were a lot better today than we've been a lot of other days," she said.

Better, but not good enough.


(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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