Danica Patrick Makes History in the Motor Racing World

By: Stephen Lars

The American Danica Patrick has made history in the racing world by winning the IndyCar official test; the Indy Japan 300 Grand Prix and has been able to quite the sexist comments.

The flaming 26-year-old winner of the Circuit of Motegi was respectful and modest when referring to the victory over fellow drivers as the Brazilian Helio Castroneves (second place) and Tony Kanaan (fifth place), as well as the New Zealander Scott Dixon (third place) and the Britton Dan Wheldon (fourth place).

Throughout her career this later event was Patrick's 50th competition in the IndyCar; with only two laps left and thanks to a brilliant strategy from her team, the Andretti Green Racing the young woman grasped the leadership to the Brazilian Castroneves who had to stop to refuel.

The American girl born in Beloit, Wisconsin had to hold to the pressure received by the Brazilian but Patrick managed to finish 5.8594 seconds ahead.

In 2005 Patrick was awarded in the best rookie of the category of Indy Racing League (IRL) finishing seventh overall, as well as for her remarkable performance at the 500 miles of Indianapolis that same year where she was set apart as the first woman in heading the test. Also, she became the fifth woman in disputing the mythical competition in the oval circuit of four kilometers.

Patrick's career began back in 1992 in the 'go-kart racing' roads and won various national championships in this category. At the age of 16 she traveled to England to improve her technique and competed in some tests of the Formula Ford and the Formula Vauxhall with incredible actions.

In 2002 Patrick returned to her country and participated in some tests of the Barber Dodge Pro Series after signing a contract with the team of Bobby Rahal. One year later she competed in the Toyota Atlantic Championship Series; Patrick did not win a race but gained 'pole position' and a consistent performance which allowed her to end in the third place in the 2004 pilots' general classification.

After the 2005 season came much trouble for the young American and criticism began to arise from the press as well as some colleagues. The press only mentioned her ability to advertise but never spoke of her actions on the road. Amongst some of the remarks was that of former driver Richard Petty, one of the Nascar's legends "The truth, I think that this is not a sport for women and, up to now, she (Patrick) has shown it".

Another unkind comment was that of Jenson Button, current Formula One driver, who in 2005 affirmed that "a woman with large breasts never will be able to feel comfortable in a race car" besides "the mechanics would not be able to concentrate either for to be looking at".

Despite of these critics Patrick did not give up and continued racing and training stronger than before reason why in the 2007 the former Formula One driver and Andretti Green Racing team co-owner, Michael Andretti hired her for his team.

After much toil Patrick obtained her first victory in the IRL, but critics have now a new target regarding the good-looking American pilot future presentations...when and how will she win again? ... An answer only Danica knows.

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