AGR holds private meeting after Danica, Marco collide during race
EDMONTON, Alberta, Canada -- In a season where Danica Patrick finally won an IndyCar race, trouble for the starlet continued in Saturday's Rexall Edmonton Indy when she was driven off the track by the team owner's son, Marco Andretti.
The incident led to a major closed-door meeting that lasted for an hour after the race. Inside the meeting were Andretti Green Racing team owners Michael Andretti, Kim Green and Kevin Savoree and the four drivers including Tony Kanaan, Hideki Mutoh, Marco Andretti and Patrick.
This season, Andretti Green Racing has become "Team Turmoil."
Rather than storm down and put the finger of blame on Marco Andretti, as she has been prone to do with rival drivers Ryan Briscoe is this year's Indianapolis 500 and Milka Duno last weekend at Mid-Ohio, Patrick let her teammate off the hook.
"Marco is my teammate, and I know he wouldn't do things on purpose, so it's all good," Patrick said.
Marco Andretti left the meeting without comment. The team issued an innocuous quote from the driver following the race that did not bring up the incident.
"It was a difficult race and not the finish we were looking for," the statement said. "There was tremendous fan support and this was a great event weekend, so hopefully we'll have a better result next year."
However, his father, Michael Andretti thought enough was enough after the team's female star was taken out of the race by "The Golden Child" -- who happens to be his son.
"We just didn't perform as a team, and we want to make sure everybody is working together," Michael Andretti said. "I'm most upset about our results. We weren't good all weekend and we have to work together more. We have to get it back on track again.
"It's a refresher meeting. I told them we have to do a better job."
Kanaan was the highest finishing driver for AGR and he finished ninth. After Marco clipped Patrick on lap 78 when the right front of Andretti's car hit the left rear of Patrick's car entering the 10th turn in a battle for ninth place, it send both cars into the pits for repairs.
Patrick's IndyCar suffered a flat left rear and Andretti's car suffered front wing damage. Patrick's car had to be restarted by the Delphi IndyCar safety team but it dealt a critical blow to both drivers' chances in the race.
Andretti would finish 17th and Patrick 18th, and both were summoned into the back of one of the AGR transporters for a closed-door meeting;
When asked if it were a "give-and-take" meeting, Andretti snickered, hopped on his scooter and drove off.
Meantime, as several hundred fans waiting patiently for an hour to get Patrick's autograph, the perky driver came out of the transporter, spoke to SI.com and signed autographs for about 20 minutes.
"There are so many people on this team, it takes a meeting for everybody on this team to get on the same page, so it was necessary to have this meeting," Patrick said. "It's much better when we talk. There was listening and then there was conversation and that's the way it should be when a team works together. Everybody should be able to say something.
"I had no radio for over half the race, so I had no idea what was going on. Marty Roth was lapped traffic and we tried to get around him as quick as I could. I caught him at the wrong place and got checked up. Next thing I know, I'm in the grass. That was it."