Saturday, April 19, 2008
Danica Patrick is the first female winner in IndyCar history!
Danica Patrick became the first female winner in IndyCar history Sunday, taking the Indy Japan 300 after the top contenders were forced to pit for fuel in the final laps.
Patrick finished 5.8594 seconds ahead of pole-sitter Helio Castroneves after leader Scott Dixon went in for a pit stop with five laps remaining.
"It's a long time coming. Finally," Patrick said. "I was managing to save fuel and keep the speed up and when I saw Helio I knew he was the one to beat."
The race was rescheduled for Sunday because of wet track conditions Saturday on the 1.5-mile Twin Ring Motegi oval.
Patrick won in her fourth season in the series.
"Thank you to Andretti Green. Thanks to to my teammates," she said.
She finished a career-best seventh in season standings last year, and was second in the race at Detroit's Belle Isle.
At the 2005 Indy 500, she nearly won the pole and became the first female driver to lead the race, finishing fourth. It was the best finish by a woman at Indy, and helped her take rookie of the year honors.