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Woman Racer Seeks to Become First Female Indianapolis 500 Winner

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Open Wheel Racing Audio Topics:  Danica Patrick, Indianapolis 500

Woman Racer Seeks to Become First Female Indianapolis 500 Winner

Kimberly Russell
May 26, 2005
Washington, D.C.

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This Sunday, a young woman is the winner in the Indianapolis 500-mile race. Danica Patrickis was the only woman racing, and had a good chance of winning; She has consistently been posted some of the fastest practice times at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Danica Patrick hoped she would be the first woman to ever win the Indianapolis 500. She said, "And I think I was just prepared from the time I was born."

At twelve, Danica was already racing, and winning, at the local go-cart track.

Even then, Ed Hinton, a Chicago Tribune reporter, noticed Danica's intensity.

That same intensity made Danica return to the racing after she was involved in a crash earlier this year. And Danica was confident she could be the first woman to win the Indy 500 and she did.

"I wouldn't put my life on the line, if I didn't feel like I could win," says Danica

In recent years, the Indy 500 has been losing its audience to NASCAR stock car racing, which has become more popular with racing fans.

Ken Ungar, of the Indy Racing League, hopes that Danica will bring in more male fans. He says, "The demographic that we are seeking to develop, is males 18 to 34."

If they like their race drivers young, attractive and female, Indy may have a winner.



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