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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Briscoe moves on after crash, talk with Danica

Thursday, May 29, 2008

By CHRIS JENKINS

AP Sports Writer

MILWAUKEE -- Ryan Briscoe and Danica Patrick actually ended up talking after their much-celebrated run-in at the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday. Briscoe didn't apologize, and says he and Patrick didn't really hash out their differences.

About the only thing the two drivers agreed on was that it's time to move on.

"It probably wasn't the best time to talk, because it was just a couple of hours after the Indy 500 and we're all a bit emotional," Briscoe said Thursday, in an interview with The Associated Press. "And I was really disappointed, because I was having a good race. But I think the one thing we've agreed on is, we both want to just move on. And I'm happy we've got a race this weekend so we can put that behind us."

They'll get that chance in Sunday's IndyCar race at the Milwaukee Mile.

Patrick was seething after a collision with Briscoe in the pits at Indy, getting out of her car and storming toward Briscoe's crew for what was shaping up as a face-to-face confrontation before track security steered her away.

After the race, Patrick said she expected Briscoe to come talk to her. He did -- but if Patrick was expecting an apology, she didn't get it.

"I didn't feel as though I was in a position where I needed to apologize," Briscoe said. "I'm not pointing fingers or anything, but you look at the replay and you look at the pit stops all day long, and that kind of stuff is going on all day.

"All I know is, I was cleared to go out and I pulled out into the middle lane and then I got whacked. And you look at the replay and see what happened, and really it's just an unfortunate racing incident and we've got to move on."

Moving on, of course, is a vital skill for race car drivers. At speeds in the high triple digits in Sunday's race, there won't be time to dwell on the past.

"We're at the biggest event in the world," Briscoe said. "Both of us probably looking towards a possible top-five finish. Then something happens and we're both out of the race, I'm upset, she's upset. It's human nature. But it is important to move on. You can't dwell on the past."

Briscoe said he met with team owner Roger Penske and president Tim Cindric earlier this week, and both men assured Briscoe that there is plenty of time left in the season to get back in championship contention.

This is Briscoe's first season driving IndyCars for Penske after spending last season with Penske's sports car racing team. It's a unique situation for Briscoe: a second chance at IndyCars with what is perhaps the most successful team in the sport's history.

Briscoe broke into the series with Chip Ganassi's team in 2005, but struggled.

"I knew nothing about oval racing," Briscoe said. "I was in equipment that was inferior. I never really got the chance to shine. I made mistakes. As I said, it's been great to be able to come back now on an even playing field."

Briscoe drove a partial schedule for the lesser-know Dreyer & Reinbold Racing team in 2006, with a third-place finish at Watkins Glen. He then moved to Penske to drive in the American LeMans series in 2007, which led to a chance to test one of the team's IndyCars at Milwaukee last year.

Briscoe was nervous going into the test, but it ended up boosting his confidence.

"You always believe in your own abilities and so on," Briscoe said. "But I was like, 'Well, I hope it's not me. I don't think it is. I do believe when I was here the car was just not handling well, but we'll see.' And then I went out and on my third lap in the Penske car, I was like, 'This is awesome. I've never been around the track so fast.' And that was lap three."

Then Penske driver Sam Hornish Jr. decided to go to NASCAR, leaving a seat open for Briscoe with Penske in the IndyCar series this season.

And while the season hasn't quite gone the way he and the team had hoped -- Briscoe has had incidents in three of the first five races of the season -- he says his crew's spirits remain high.

"I've got the best guys on my car," Briscoe said. "So as far as that goes, they've been awesome. Really haven't shown any signs of disappointment or getting down on me, so that's great. So I can't think of anything better at this point than to reward them with some good results."



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