IRL: Meira, Patrick collide in practice at Kentucky

The Indy Racing League's highly-anticipated showdown between Danica Patrick and Sarah Fisher struck a pot-hole on Sunday morning when Vitor Meira collected the Rahal/Letterman driver as she began slowing to enter the long narrow pit lane at...

The Indy Racing League's highly-anticipated showdown between Danica Patrick and Sarah Fisher struck a pot-hole on Sunday morning when Vitor Meira collected the Rahal/Letterman driver as she began slowing to enter the long narrow pit lane at Kentucky Speedway. The incident mars what had been a letter-perfect start of preparations for the Meijer Indy 300 presented by Coca-Cola and Secret scheduled to commence at 3:45 PM EDT today and carried live on ABC Sports.

Running closely-packed in obvious race-simulation conditions, the cars were approaching the turn three run-off from the 1.5 mile oval shortly before the conclusion of the 10:30 AM EDT scheduled thirty minute session. Neither driver appeared hurt, and both were quickly cleared from the medical area with the green light to drive in the race.

Revive Panther Racing Number 4 driver Vitor Meira collided with the Rahal/Letterman driver as he skidded on the slick infield grass, knocking the front left wheel and suspension of his machine askew. Estimates of how long a repair to his machine could be affected, if indeed a repair could be accomplished in time for the race start later today, were not immediately available.

"The main problem was we had a bunch of cars together. Some guy, I think it was the Number 55 car (Kosuke Matsoura), was a little bit close to me. I did not want to hit Danica, but that's racing."

Patrick, anticipating a drive for the first time in her IRL career against newly-returned female driver Sarah Fisher, slowed noticeably ahead of Meira as she lined up to bring her car onto the pit exit at Kentucky Speedway. Moving at higher speed, and approaching from behind, Meira dodged left into the grassy infield area but lost just enough grip on the slippery surface to push back out toward the incoming Patrick, clipping the rear wheel of her car. Damage to Patrick's car was not immediately evaluable.

The practice session ended with Target/Chip Ganassi Racing's Scott Dixon scoring an impressive 219.203 mph speed, followed by Sam Hornish Jr. at 218.857 mph. Hornish, however, had his own problems--slowing to coast-in conclusion to his fast when fuel pickup became temporarily retarded. He later returned to the track without further incident.

Kosuke Matsoura posted a surprising morning speed of 218.796 mph to round out the top three positions in this pre-race Sunday morning practice under clear blue skies and warming temperatures in Sparta, Kentucky.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Sarah Fisher , Scott Dixon , Chip Ganassi , Sam Hornish Jr. , Danica Patrick , Vitor Meira
Teams Panther Racing , Chip Ganassi Racing