Danica Patrick and boyfriend in tangle-up at Chase opener



BY AOL SPORTS

NASCAR's Danica Patrick reportedly ran into boyfriend Ricky Stenhouse Jr. at Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Chicagoland Speedway.

The pair, who made their romance public at the end of the 2013 season, were reportedly both in the lead lap when the incident occurred, according to Sporting News.

The tangle was reportedly the result of miscommunication on the part of Patrick's spotter Brandon Benesch, who took the blame.

'I heard my spotter say that the 14 was below me on track and I didn't know the 17 (Stenhouse Jr.) was there on the high side of the track,' Patrick said. 'My spotter took the blame on that one.'

'I just didn't know Ricky was up there and I obviously don't want to hit his car or anyone else with 10 laps to go.'

According to USA Today, Danica was none too pleased. Apparently, she sped into the garage, parked her scuffed ride and headed straight for the lot without acknowledging reporters.

So how do couples who race together stay together after an on-track scuffle? Like any other couple -- they talk it out.

'Oh yeah, we talked about it,' Patrick said after that accident. 'I suppose that's one of those things -- you don't not talk about it because you're riding home together.'

'So there were a few silent moments, for sure. Or many moments.'

This is the third accident for the couple. The two were involved in accidents in both May and July of 2013.

'It's just a tough deal,' Patrick said Sunday.

Both Patrick and Stenhouse Jr. finished the race Sunday -- Stenhouse 17th and Patrick 19th.

After the final restart, caused by Patrick and Stenhouse Jr.'s contact, racer Brad Keselowski went on to take the win.

According to the LA Times, 'the victory automatically advances Keselowski into the second round of the 10-race Chase, which will eliminate four drivers every third race under NASCAR's new format.'

More on Keselowski's win and the race below:

Keselowski Wins Chase Opener
Keselowski Wins Chase Opener