Danica Patrick Makes History

04/20/2008 at 01:55 PM EDT

Danica Patrick Makes History
Danica Patrick
Shuji Kajiyama/AP
Danica Patrick became the first female winner in IndyCar history Sunday, taking the Indy Japan 300.

"It's a long time coming. Finally," Patrick, 26, told the Associated Press. "It was a fuel strategy race, but my team called it perfectly for me. I knew I was on the same strategy as Helio [Castroneves] and when I passed him for the lead, I couldn't believe it. This is fabulous."

Patrick finished 5.8594 seconds ahead of recent Dancing with the Stars champ Castroneves on the 1.5-mile oval.

"With five laps to go, I was saving fuel," Castroneves told the AP. "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."

Added Michael Andretti, co-owner of Andretti Green Racing, "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."

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

At 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.

Like this story? Click on the Yahoo Buzz! button below to Buzz it up!

Your Reaction

Follow Us

On Newsstands Now

Robin Roberts: How Loved Saved Me
  • Robin Roberts: How Loved Saved Me
  • Emma and Andrew: All About Hollywood's Cutest Couple
  • Prince George! More Yummy Photos

Pick up your copy on newsstands

Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine

Advertisement

From Our Partners

Watch It

Editors' Picks

From Our Partners



Sign up for our daily newsletter and other special offers.
    Choose your newsletters
Thank you for signing up! Your request may take up to one week to be processed.
    see all newsletters