Dale Coyne Racing crew member Charles Buckman was taken to Indianapolis' Methodist Hospital on Friday after being hit by another car as he worked in pit-lane at the Brickyard.

The chief mechanic, who oversees rookie Mario Moraes' efforts for DCR, was hit by Danica Patrick's left front wheel as the field filed back into pit-lane under caution and fell, face first, to the pavement. After being evaluated by the Indy Racing League's senior medical director, Dr Michael Olinger at the Clarion Emergency Medical Centre, Buckman was transported to Methodist Hospital for treatment for concussion, and scalp and facial lacerations.

He will spend Friday night in ICU at the hospital before undergoing another CAT scan Saturday morning. He is reported as awake and alert.

"I really don't remember how it happened," he admitted, "All I remember is that I was talking with someone on Marco Andretti's team and then everything is blank from that point. I will be okay and, hopefully, back to work in a day or two."

Coyne later revealed that Buckman had been walking back to the garage and was fixated on the car ahead of him, not noticing Patrick. He walked into her tyre and was knocked to the ground, unconscious. Coyne added that he expected Buckman to be kept overnight, and admitted that it would make things tough for qualifying over the weekend.

"We need to get him up and well," he said, aware that Moraes, who was 30th fastest of the 33 drivers on Fast Friday, is third up in the 61-car Saturday qualifying line-up, "Our thoughts and prayers are with Chuck and his family. Hopefully, we can get him back in our pit soon."

After some ground rules were laid out by an Andretti Green Racing spokesman in a late-afternoon press briefing outside Patrick's garage, the Motegi winner met briefly with the press - for all of twelve seconds.

"It was really, really unfortunate what happened today," she noted, "Thoughts and prayers are with him, with his family, and hopefully he can get back to the track and be able to do what he loves."

Patrick then went back into her garage and the door was shut. The ground rules took twice as long as Patrick's statement, and included the revelation that the briefing would be the only statement on the subject and no questions would be allowed.

For ESPN footage of the incident, CLICK HERE...

additional reporting by Lynne Huntting]