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Author Topic: Danica Patrick makes IndyCar history by winning Japan 300  (Read 1024 times)

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NukeIT

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MOTEGI, Japan - 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 on the 1.5-mile Twin Ring Motegi oval after leader Scott Dixon pitted with five laps left and Dan Wheldon and Tony Kanaan came in a lap later.

"It's a long time coming. Finally," Patrick said. "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."

The 26-year-old Patrick won in her 50th career IndyCar start, taking the lead from Castroneves on the 198th lap in the 200-lap race.

"I think Danica is such a fantastic person and I'm thrilled for her that the monkey is finally off of her back," said Michael Andretti, co-owner of Andretti Green Racing. "We have all believed in her and she proved today that she is a winner. Frankly, I think this is the first of many."

Dixon took the lead from Castroneves on the 93rd lap in the race pushed back to Sunday because of wet track conditions Saturday, but gave up the spot to pit for fuel.

"We led for a lot of laps but came up short," Dixon said. "But congratulations to Danica for her first victory."

Patrick, who started from the third row and made her final pit stop on lap 148, stayed close to the leaders throughout the race.

Patrick went from fourth to second place on lap 197 after Wheldon and Kanaan went into the pit on lap 196. She was as low as eighth place on the 189th lap.

"I knew there was a good reason for coming to Japan," Patrick said. "I want to thank my team, the fans and everyone who supported me."

Dixon was third, 10.0559 seconds behind Patrick. Wheldon was fourth, and Kanaan finished fifth.

Castroneves, awarded the pole position after qualifying was rained out Friday, said Patrick ran a great race.

"With five laps to go, I was saving fuel," Castroneves said. "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."

Patrick finished a career-best seventh in the 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 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.
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sadunbar

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Re: Danica Patrick makes IndyCar history by winning Japan 300
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2008, 11:01:17 AM »

I know I have said this before, but Danica is the daughter of one of my best friends since childhood.  Watching her Dad, T.J. cry in victory lane on television last night was pretty emotional.  I could not be happier for her and the family!  :huepfenjump3: :huepfenjump3:



A side note:  An AP article on AOL is titled - "Danica cries in Victory Lane"  It then quotes her under the headline as as saying:

"I didn't think it would be me."

Then in the body of the article, in reference to her being the first female to win an Indy Car race it quotes her as saying:

"I would be lying if I said I didn't think it would be me."

Journalism at its best....   :thumbsdown:
« Last Edit: April 20, 2008, 08:55:28 PM by sadunbar »
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NukeIT

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Re: Danica Patrick makes IndyCar history by winning Japan 300
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2008, 08:51:44 PM »

Did you see the Yahoo sports writer that says that she was given the win. What a schmuck!!!  not to bore you with everthing he says "Castroneves instead lifted his foot off of his gas pedal just enough to save fuel and reward Patrick with the victory." Thats racing if the guy doesn't have enough gas to get to the finish line that isn't her fault, don't discredit her win....


I cant believe the extend they will go to, to make excuses why she beat the "OLD BOYS CLUB".

They cant understand why we like her, hell it is because she is fighting against the regime, with a smile, with persistence of a bull dog, and have you ever heard her say a bad word about them. What's not to love.
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SPIDERMAN

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Re: Danica Patrick makes IndyCar history by winning Japan 300
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2008, 09:19:46 PM »

Did you see the Yahoo sports writer that says that she was given the win. What a schmuck!!!  not to bore you with everthing he says "Castroneves instead lifted his foot off of his gas pedal just enough to save fuel and reward Patrick with the victory." Thats racing if the guy doesn't have enough gas to get to the finish line that isn't her fault, don't discredit her win....


I cant believe the extend they will go to, to make excuses why she beat the "OLD BOYS CLUB".

They cant understand why we like her, hell it is because she is fighting against the regime, with a smile, with persistence of a bull dog, and have you ever heard her say a bad word about them. What's not to love.

That guy's a puke. Somebody should punch him in the head - - - hard. It's not just Danica, he has a line of disrespect for every sport out there. I don't understand why he's not banned from the locker rooms of every sport and the pits and garage areas of every racing league.
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nidan

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Re: Danica Patrick makes IndyCar history by winning Japan 300
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2008, 09:06:14 AM »

I'm happy she finally got a win , she's a talented spunky lady .

Keep them comin girl!
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