Meira and Danica crash

SPARTA, Ky. — Tight racing in the final IndyCar Series 30-minute practice session at Kentucky Speedway resulted in two cars making contact at the transition from the racing surface to pit road in Turn 3.

The No. 4 Panther Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone driven by Vitor Meira made contact with the No. 16 Rahal Letterman Racing Team Argent Dallara/Honda/Firestone driven by Danica Patrick late in the session to prepare for the Meijer Indy 300 Presented by Coca-Cola and Secret.

Meira closed quickly on Patrick and tried to miss the No. 16 car by running in the infield grass, but his car tagged Patrick's right rear, spinning both cars.

Patrick car, which qualified 11th (215.456 mph; 24.7289 seconds) on the 1.5-mile oval, sustained damage to the left and right rear suspension and radiator. At the request of Honda, the engine also was changed.

Meira's car sustained front suspension damage. He will start ninth (216.182 mph; 24.6459).

"The main problem was we had a bunch of cars together," Meira said. "Some guys, I think it was the 55 (Kosuke Matsuura), was a little bit too close to me. I did not want to hit Danica, but that is racing."

Front-row starter Sam Hornish Jr. turned only 23 laps because of a fuel pressure issue. The car was returned to the garage. Target Chip Ganassi Racing's Scott Dixon (219.203; 24.3062 seconds) topped the speed chart.

The field was separated by 0.6823 of a second.

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