Monday, April 21, 2008

First Female Winner in Indycar History--Danica Patrick

Danica Patrick, 26, finished 5. 8594 seconds ahead of recent Dancing With The Stars champ Helio Castroneves on the 1.5-mile oval, which started from the third row and made her final pit stop on lap 148, stayed close to the leaders throughout the race becoming the first female in history to take Bridgestone IndyCar 300-mile winner at Motegi, Japan. Sunday's race, which was delayed a day because of a wet track, was won by a combination of cool composure and shrewd strategy. Danica took the lead from pole-sitter Helio on the 198th lap in the 200-lap race

In the 2005 Indy 500, she became the first female driver to lead the race en route to a fourth-place finish. It was the best finish by a woman at Indy, and helped her take rookie of the year honors. Win No. 1 was a long time coming. Patrick finished a career-best seventh in the standings last year when her best finish was second in the race at Detroit's Belle Isle. Her first IndyCar race was in 2005 at Homestead-Miami. Danica told Associated Press,
"It's a long time coming … Finally … It was a fuel strategy race, but my team called it perfectly for me. I knew I was on the same strategy as Helio and when I passed him for the lead, I couldn't believe it. This is fabulous … I knew there was a good reason for coming to Japan … I want to thank my team, the fans and everyone who supported me."
Helio said to AP,
"With five laps to go, I was saving fuel … When Danica passed me; I realized she was the leader. She did a great job, passed me fair and square and that shows you how competitive our series is."
According to Michael Andretti, co-owner of Andretti Green Racing Team which she belongs,
"I think Danica is such a fantastic person and I'm thrilled for her that the monkey is finally off of her back. We have all believed in her and she proved today that she is a winner."
As she was welcomed by her family near the podium, Danica said,
"There was a lot of ‘I love you' and 'congratulations' ... My dad said it was the best day of his life."
Born as Danica Sue Patrick, on March 25, 1982 in Beloit Wisconsin, she began driving go-karts at age 10, competing at Sugar River Raceway outside of Brodhead, Wisconsin and went on to win several national championships. In order to advance her racing career, she moved to England. Becoming a U.S. auto racer competing in the IndyCar Series, she published her autobiography, Danica: Crossing the Line, in May 2006.

Earning a General Equivalency Diploma (GED), she focuses primarily on road racing. Patrick raced in several developmental open-wheel series while in Europe, including Formula Ford and Formula Vauxhaull. Patrick earned a second-place finish in England's extremely competitive Formula Ford Festival, the highest-ever finish by either a woman or an American in the event. This has proven once more, the feat which has previously been attributed to men, has become an achievement for women.

At the victory lane - Part 1

At the victory lane - Part 2

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Ria Coleto-Cervantes said...

Hi Aor,

This is a great moment for women throughout the world. This only proves that WE can actually break it into the men's scene. Just like what kids use to banter when I was years younger "girls rule, boys drool." Go Danica! Go Girls!!!

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