Like those cartoon crows taught us: “there’s more than corn in Indiana…Indiana Beach.” Danica Patrick heads to the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway with plenty of experience already at racing’s most hallowed grounds.
Patrick first gained fame in Indy car from 2005 to 2011 competing in the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race. Now she’ll be in the circle city for a NASCAR Sprint Cup race
At the May 2005 Indianapolis 500 she led three times for 19 laps and finished fourth– becoming the first woman to lead laps and score a top-five finish in the historic race. On race day, with 11 laps remaining in the 200-lap event, Danica Patrick blew past leader Dan Wheldon and held the point until lap 194, when she was forced to slow down in order to conserve fuel to make it to the finish. Her efforts earned her Rookie of the Year honors.
Danica Patrick scored six top-10 finishes in seven starts at Indianapolis and qualified 10th or better five times. Her third-place result in 2009 is the best finish ever for a woman in the history of the Indianapolis 500.
“I don’t care what I drive around Indy, I love being there. The older I get, the more I realize how much history and tradition plays a role in what’s important and what matters and what means the most to you,” Danica Patrick said.
Danica Patrick on comparing driving a stock car at Indianapolis to driving an Indy car there.
“It’s just about finding a balance with the car out there, which is no different than in an Indy car. You’re just trying to find a balance. All you’re doing in an Indy car is trimming it out and, if I could have more downforce in these cars, I’d probably take it because, in an Indy car, we learned very quickly that it’s about how much throttle you could carry around.”
Paul M. Banks is the owner of The Sports Bank.net, an affiliate of Fox Sports. An analyst for 95.7 The Fan, he also writes on Chicago sports media for Chicago Now. President Obama follows him on Twitter (@paulmbanks)Follow paulmbanks