Danica, Marco spark closed-door meeting (cont.)
All four AGR cars had struggles throughout the weekend but with controversy a constant companion to Patrick recently, an on-track incident with the team owner's son was the last thing she needed this season, especially one week after the legendary towel tossing incident with Duno.
"We haven't had good cars all weekend, and that is obvious from the outside looking in," Patrick said. "None of us qualified very well. Tony Kanaan was the best overall, and we were all struggling.
"At this point I wouldn't say we're the only team that needs a week off after six-straight races."
An angry-looking Kanaan marched out of the meeting and left the track. When asked by SI.com about the particulars of the meeting, he snapped, "I'm not going to talk about it. That's our personal stuff and it's nobody else's business.
"You can ask but I'm not going to talk."
When pressed on the issue, however, Kanaan finally offered his thoughts on the team's overall performance.
"I think we didn't have good cars," Kanaan said. "We tried to regroup and didn't do a good job as a team. When the best finish for the team is ninth-place, that's not a good result for anyone."
Patrick has been a lightning rod for controversy since her historic win at Japan on April 20, when she became the first female driver ever to win a race in a major closed-course racing series.
She was in serious contention for this year's Indy 500 before she was taken out of the race on pit lane when Briscoe pulled out of her pits and ran into the side of her car. Patrick was furious, climbed out of her car and made a determined march down pit lane at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway before she was ordered off pit road by Charles Burns, the IndyCar Series director of security.
"I don't really regret those things," Patrick said. "I don't regret my instincts or emotions. It's my character and my honest personality. Sometimes it comes in smiles and sometimes it comes in frowns.
"You look back at situations that you can do better but otherwise it is life. My life happens in front of a camera all the time but I don't regret any of those decisions."
She became a focal point of criticism from Texas Motor Speedway president and general manager Eddie Gossage when she defended the scheduling of Milwaukee as the first race after the Indy 500 rather than Texas.
She drew some heated criticism from Dixon and fellow driver Ed Carpenter after the Iowa race on June 22 after both accused her of blocking. Dixon called her a "menace" and Carpenter called her the "new Scott Sharp of the series" referring to a driver known for his blocking tactics before he left the series at the end of this year.
She lost control of her race car leaving the pits at Watkins Glen International on July 6 and nearly hit several of Dixon's crew members when the nose of her car hit the bulls-eye of the Target logo.
"Christ, I know Scott called her a menace at Iowa but she didn't have to take it out by trying to take out all of his boys," quipped Ron Dixon, Scott Dixon's father who was in the pit area at the time.
None of the crew members were injured but several made some angry gestures at her as she drove off and one kicked the damaged front wing which had to be replaced from the contact with the wall.
"I may have got the bulls-eye, but I definitely wasn't aiming at it," Patrick said after that incident. "I just kept the tires lit. I was running some different gears and as soon as the wheels stopped spinning the revs dropped pretty low. I was ahead of Hideki Mutoh pulling out and I didn't want to lose the position so I kept it going. I hit the paint area and the car swapped ends. It was a dumb mistake.
"I was telling them with my hands that I was really sorry. It was stupid. Next time, I will know better."
She was on the receiving end of blocking by Helio Castroneves at Nashville on July 19 which led up to the piece de resistance when she charged into Duno's pit area at Mid-Ohio and got a towel thrown in her face twice from the female Venezuelan driver who screamed, "You can push the boys around but you can't push me."
That incident was videotaped by a friend of Duno's and was one of the most replayed clips of the past week.
Luckily for Patrick and the AGR team, there were no video cameras in the closed-door meeting, but the fact it needed to be held in the first place only underlines how this has become "Team Turmoil" of the IndyCar Series.