Danica Patrick of Andretti Green Racing, in her 50th start in the series, won the BridgestoneIndy Japan 300 race on Sunday, April 20, 2008 on the 1.5 mile oval track is at Twin Ring Motegi, northeast of Tokyo. She is the first female to win an IndyCar race. After three years on the circuit, the 26 year old finally got the breakthrough win that has eluded her until now.
Patrick completed the 200 lap race in one hour 51 minutes. Second place went to Helio Castroneves, who won Dancing with the Stars last season with partner Julianne Hough. A New Zealander, Scott Dixon took third place honors.Patrick had this to say about her triumph:
Finally. This is a long time coming. I've been asked so many times when I'm going to win my first race, and finally, no more of those questions. I had a lot of opportunities last year that were missed due to bad luck. I can only say I'm just glad it's over."
"It was a fuel strategy race, but my team called it perfectly for me. I know I was on the same strategy as Helio and when I passed him for the lead, I couldn't believe it. This is fabulous. I kind of knew from the start that if we had enough fuel that I was going to have a chance because I was saving fuel from the first lap and nobody else looked like they were. I always said that I wouldn't do this, but on my last lap I was kind of excited. I was as relieved as I expected I would be years ago, how I knew I would fell when I won my first race."
Patrick made her IndyCar debut in 2005 after years on European junior formula tours and in the Toyota Atlantic series. Her previous best finish was second place at Detroit last September. The next race will be the RoadRunner Turbo Indy 300 in Kansas in a week.
Patrick has a HOT photo portfolio with GoDaddy. Check out Patrick's recent remarks about the new weight rules that have her hot under the collar. We would be remiss if we didn't offer up a link to Danica's Sports Illustrated Photos.
Check out another race photo below.