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Patrick’s former teammates won’t go that far.

“I don’t know about games, but I know we are one tight-knit group of drivers who all want to win races,” Hunter-Reay said. “We get along off the track. We don’t let egos get in the way. We’ve started making progress and we’ve been able to work as a group.”

Hunter-Reay quickly pointed out his comment was not intended as a shot at Patrick.

“I had no direct issue with her, I just knew we worked closely with her,” Hunter-Reay said. “It’s not that we weren’t going backward, we were just not going forward.”

That’s not the case now. Hinchcliffe was one of the favorites to win the pole, missing by .003 mph, the closest pole battle in 500 history, and Marco Andretti goes into race day as one of the favorites after having one of the fastest cars at the speedway all month.

“You always struggle for that camaraderie. When you have it, you have it,” Michael Andretti said. “You either have it or you don’t.”