Patrick hits Coyne pit crew member

May 9, 2008
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Indy Racing League drivers got in a little more than three hours of practice today before rain started to fall shortly after 3 p.m. at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Unfortunately, before the rain hit, a car piloted by Danica Patrick plowed into long-time IRL crewman Chuck Buckman on pit road shortly before 2:30 p.m.

Although IMS officials did not immediately announce to fans or media members that there was an accident, witnesses said there was quite a bit of blood at the scene. Patrick's car sustained minor front end damage.

Buckman was attended to by safety personnel at the scene before being taken to the infield care center. Buckman, who works for Dale Coyne Racing, has scalp and facial lacerations in addition to a concussion. Shortly after 3:30 p.m., track officials reported Buckman was conscious and alert. Patrick did not seem to be physically injured, but appeared shaken-up by the incident.

Earlier in the day Mario Dominguez made light contact with the inside of turn one, and Alex Lloyd made heavy contact on the outside of turn one.

Scott Dixon was at the top of the speed charts. But less than a second separates him from Sarah Fisher, the 23rd quickest on the day.

Fisher, who some said would have difficulty making the race with her upstart team and no primary sponsor, now looks like a solid threat to qualify this first weekend of qualifications. Thirty-three car/driver combinations have taken laps on the track today.
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