It was really the pits

TERRY JONES -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:22 AM ET

INDIANAPOLIS -- Scott Dixon may have won the 92nd Indianapolis 500 yesterday, but not a lot of people will be talking about his win today.

It was a day when the Indy 500 filled the stands again, with people back overnighting on Georgetown Road on Saturday night for the first time in years and with the world watching what was happening here again as a result of the Champ Car-Indy Racing League merger.

Spit happened here. Venom was in the air.

And, yes, that was Danica Patrick stomping down the pits like she wanted to punch out Ryan Briscoe's lights. And that was Tony Kanaan using the word "stupid" in reference to what his own teammate, Marco Andretti, did to him.

It was old-time racin' stuff. There was passion and pathos and somebody done somebody wrong songs being sung by somebodies who were done real wrong. And those somebodies will remain bigger IndyCar names than Dixon, even though he won - and they never have.

Kanaan, in fact, is regarded to be the best driver to never have won the great race. And there he was, in the lead again - for a record seventh consecutive year - when he was done wrong by his own teammate, an Andretti, of all people, with his car promoting the new Indiana Jones movie and all.

When it comes to lowdown, how do you get any lower than taking out your own teammate when he's leading the race? I mean, other than taking out Patrick in the pits?

Danica makes news by being Danica, but to be prevented from finishing a fifth straight Indy 500 by Briscoe, who started the race on the front row, had her stomping down the pits, steam coming out of her helmet, to where Briscoe's Team Penske car was parked.

Cool-headed officials convinced her to make one last left turn - back to gasoline alley - without words.

With a third of the field rookies, carnage was projected and expected - but not from those people, veterans running at the front at the race. And not involving everybody's main meal ticket.

The Andretti incident, just over halfway through the race on the 105th lap, left Kanaan in a quarter spin and being clobbered by Sara Fisher, taking them both out of the race.

Andretti said "sorry" on the radio to the pits.

Sorry?

"He better be," Kanaan told the nation on the ABC telecast when he stepped out of the car. "It was a very stupid move, especially for a teammate. As usual, I'm in the lead and something happens."

Kanaan, who has led races in which he previously finished second, third, fifth, eighth, 12th and 28th here, ended up with his worst finish here at 29th.

He didn't back off from anything when he had a little more time to calm down.

"It was a stupid move. I think teammates shouldn't do that to teammates. I'm sure he will have a good explanation for what he did. Halfway through the race with a bunch of traffic, why are you going to dive into me like that? I will wait to see what he has to say."

When asked if it was a stupid move, Andretti didn't confess to a brain freeze.

"I don't know. Maybe it was a bit last minute. I don't know about a stupid move. Maybe he didn't expect it to be coming, I'll put it that way. But we didn't touch. I didn't really take his air away. It was just a last-minute thing. He was going at speed and he must have just got in the marbles.

"I didn't see a replay, but I was as low as I possibly could have been."

Patrick was racing in the top 10 when Briscoe, the Team Penske driver who qualified on the front row, clipped her on lap 122 to take them both out of the race.

"From what I know, it looked pretty obvious what happened. You don't come out of your pit box and swing three lanes out. That's why there is a 'get up to speed' lane and an 'at speed' lane. I was at speed," said Patrick.

Asked what she was going to say to Briscoe if she had made it down to the Penske pit, she said "It's probably good I didn't get down there anyway, isn't it? We will see if he can find me first."

Briscoe didn't offer a public apology.

"It's a real shame," he said.

"But we both have brake pedals in our cars. I just saw the replay and it confirmed my thoughts. We were both out there trying to win the Indy 500 today and when it's time to go, we have to go. From what I could see there was still plenty of room on the right side for her to get around."

The new combined IndyCar series has a new Indianapolis 500 winner to sell at the rest of the series stops this year, including the one in Edmonton in late July.

But what will probably get more mileage and sell more tickets is the bad blood that's likely to be around all year between some prime time racers as a result of what happened here yesterday.


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