Danica Patrick Sports Illustrated Cover 'Indy, Yes She Can' (Photos)
The Brickyard will host the Indy 500 on Sunday, May 25th. Danica Patrick will be one of 33 drivers vying for a big win. She is currently enjoying her career high fifth place points ranking following her first victory in Japan in April, making her the first female winner in the history of the Indy Racing League.
Danica, 5'2" and 100 pounds, has been voted the sport's most popular driver three years running. The 26 year old is poised to make history again this weekend, and would love to take the traditional swig of milk after winning the sports biggest race. It would be the motor sports story of the year and a spectacular achievement by a woman if Danica wins the race. She will start in fifth position.
Patrick has raced three times at the Brickyard, finishing in 8th spot or better each time. She drives for Andretti Green Racing. Co-owner Kevin Savoree said:
When we considered Danica, we talked about that she could win the Indy 500, and that's why we hired her. She had a lot of marketability, but we hired her because she could win there."
How does Patrick excel at a track that is considered among the most technically demanding because of its flat layout, sharp corners and 225-mph speeds? According to Kim Green:
We've given her cars even this month that were maybe too unstable, and she doesn't come back ranting and raving. I'm so impressed with how calm she is."
Danica is screaming hot right now. She is glamorous and photogenic and has a broad fan base, appealing to kids and their parents. John Griffin, vice president of public relations for the Indy Racing League, said that the week after her victory in Japan, Patrick sold more than $100,000 worth of merchandise.
On Sunday at Noon EST over 300,000 race fans will be on hand to witness the race. Danica doesn't claim to be psychic but she had this to say about her chances of winning:
I'm not the only one who says it could be my year. But I've got a good feeling."