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Click above to view high-res gallery from Indy Japan 300

The third race of the IRL season and last event before the on set of the merger was history in the making. The Indy Japan 300 was a difficult race to get off the ground though, as rainy conditions cancelled qualifying and caused postponement of the race start.

Twin Ring Motegi will now forever be the site where the first female driver won an Indy Car event. Danica Patrick sealed the deal after passing Helio Castroneves with 2 laps to go in the 200 lap race. The historical event was made possible through excellent planning and strategy on the part of the Andretti Green team. Danica sat in fourth with 4 laps to go, but fuel starvation forced Dan Wheldon and Tony Kanaan into the pits. Fuel level was also an issue with Castroneves, he was in conservation mode in the final laps. Thanks to the efforts of her crew, Patrick had enough fuel to maintain speed throughout the race and take her first, and hopefully not last, win in the big leagues.

[Source: AP]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      History!!! Danica Patrick Finally did it! And I hope this repeats itself over and over!!! I have gotten a poster of her:
      http://dealstudio.com/searchdeals.php?deal_id=98197&ru=279 , If I am lucky to meet her, definitely I will ask her to sign for me. Congratulations Danica!!!
      • 7 Years Ago
      And by the way TdoG, the guy who beat Danica at the Formula Ford Festival in England in 2000 (where she finished 2nd, not 3rd) was Anthony Davidson. He was not, last time I looked "languishing in those lesser forms of racing or out of the game completely." He is in fact in F1.

      But hey, I'm done. I learned years ago that when somebody really believes something, there's no point in trying to confuse them with facts
      • 7 Years Ago
      To the 2nd and 3rd place finishers: "Hahaaaa, you got beaten by a guuuurl!"

      Seriously though, that's cool, maybe more women will take an interest in motorsports? And, yes, I know she's whip me on a racecourse too.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Sorry SparkX, that' doesn't fly. None of those hacks had the same irrational hype surrounding them, particularly after it was clear they were going no where.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Many if not all of the men who BEAT HER in Europe are still languishing in those lesser forms of racing or out of the game completely. Don't give me this BS about her fighting her way to the top. If Rahal hadn't seen money to be made in marketing her look she'd still be shaking her ass on Horsepower TV between commercials.
        • 7 Years Ago

        Bull! Tomas Scheckter is the son of an F1 world champion and came into the sport with great expectations. Mears, Waltrip and Foyt all come from racing families (as does Marco Andretti) and have all been expected to follow in the footsteps of their families' success.

        Ralf Schumaker had a job in F1 much longer than he should have because somewhere along the line he was expected to show the kind of talent Michael has.

        Were they hyped like Danica? No. Why not? They weren't the first of anything. Not the first sons, brothers or nephews and certainly not the first woman to sit on the front row at Indy. lead the race, and finish in the top five, all in her first race.

        She's been hyped because she's succeeded where other women, Janet Guthrie, Lynn St. James and Sarah Fisher have not. If Danica had the same record as Fisher, we would never hear a thing about her. She's visible because of where she finishes.

        And you still haven't responded to the replies to the most illogical thing you said: "A man with her record would be on the unemployment line long ago." That's what you said dude.

        So that means that you think a man with 25 top tens in 50 starts would have been fired long ago.

        You want to stick to that position or not? Yes or No?
        • 7 Years Ago
        What are you smoking comparing those two to a pin up girl who happens to drive a race car?
        • 7 Years Ago
        I guess Susan B. Anthony and Hattie McDaniel were both "irrationally hyped" too.

        She won fair and square. Congrats Danica. And I have an *ahem* "pole position" for you ;)

        Her banned "Beaver" commercial is kinda hot. lol
      • 7 Years Ago
      Congratulations Danica!

      I'm glad to see her winning. It's good for the sport.
        • 7 Years Ago
      Jonathan Hicks
      • 7 Years Ago
      I'm very excited that Danica Patrick, my favorite female indycar racer and my dream girl, won the Indy Japan 300! Now, if I could only find a way to meet Danica in person.
      • 7 Years Ago
      "A man with her record would be on the unemployment line long ago...well except David Button."

      Two questions:
      1. Who The F**K is David Button?
      2. Why would any driver male or female in his or her fourth year with several poles, a fourth and I believe another top ten at Indy, several top five or top ten finishes, a 7th in points last season and a 1st this season be unemployed?

      If there is ANY logic to your argument than everyone who finished lower than 6th in points last season, that is from Danica on down, should be out of a job.

      Are they?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Awesome.. she only led 3 laps, but she led the most important lap of the race.. the last one. I can't wait for Long Beach next year!
      • 7 Years Ago
      Shoves it down Bernie Ecclestone's mouth re his kitchen appliance comment. He ands MM do say and do the most inappropiriate things;)

      Well done Danica.....
      • 7 Years Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      Awesome! And about bloody time! I have never doubted her talent as a driver cos in all honesty just cos she's has curves, a serious IRL team like Andretti Green wouldn't bother having her in the seat if she wasn't any good at all... The novelty of a woman driver (and she looks HOT in a race suit I might add!) would have worn off ages ago and she would have been dumped by the team already! Now she has won her 1st race (keeping in mind she has had a pole, a 2nd, some 3rd's and 4th's) she will now fully understand what its like to win in the BIG leagues and her thirst for more wins will only get stronger!. She has made History as the 1st woman to win an IRL event so Congratulations Danica and we look forward to future wins! We need more women in motor sport and could you imagine a series with a 50/50 male/female driver line up! I think it would be very interesting indeed and not just for the perve factor (which would be great don't get me wrong and no dis-respect to the ladies of course!) but more so for equal opportunity. Come on ladies its time to go racing!
        • 7 Years Ago
        My apologies, she has had several pole positions I meant to say! ;)
      • 7 Years Ago
      Is that bottle of Champagne too big or is it just Danica's size that makes the tower her?

      Oh yeah, good for her. It's about time.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I'm just so proud of her. I've been waiting for this day for a long time and she deserved it so much.

        She had a great race strategy and with 20 to go, i knew Dixon, Kanaan, Wheldon, and Helio didn't have enough fuel to make it to the end.

        It all went crazy when Ed Carpenter who had last pitted with Danica dived for the pits, i jumped up cause i knew the race was hers. Helio tried to make it to the end but just didn't have the fuel to be aggressive so she went by and three laps latter.......THE WIN!


        This is such an important day in racing history.

        To all the nay sayers.....I watched the race from start to finish and with those final laps coming Ed Carpenter was in a similar position but Danica was able to keep speed without being aggressive. She won the race and fully deserved it. Besides In Indy car racing as well as F1, fuel strategy plays as big of a roll as anything else.
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