Monday, April 21, 2008

Can We Now Stop the Anna Kournikova Comparisons

Danica Patrick wins Japan 300 to become the first woman to win an IndyCar event. The trophy is nearly as tall as she is.
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.

"I've been asked so many times when and if I can win my first race," she said. "And, finally, no more of those questions."

Patrick was welcomed by her family near the podium.

"There was a lot of "I love you,' and 'congratulations,' Patrick said. "My dad said it was the best day of his life."

Michael Andretti, co-owner of Andretti Green Racing, called his driver a "fantastic person."

"I'm thrilled for her that the monkey is finally off of her back," said 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."

At the 2005 Indy 500, Patrick nearly won the pole and became the first female driver to lead the race. She wound up fourth, the best finish by a woman at Indy and a result that helped her claim rookie of the year honors.

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