When the checkered flag flew at the Indy Japan 300 on this day in 2008 Danica Patrick was the first one across the finish line, making her the first woman to win an IndyCar Series race. Patrick began her career in kart racing before moving to Formula Fords in the UK. Patrick moved back to the USA to start her Indy career where she was named the Rookie of the Year in 2005 for both the Indianapolis 500 and the 2005 IndyCar Series season.
Patrick has had a diverse career working as a driver, model and advertising spokeswoman. Her life in the driver’s seat has put her on many different tracks in numerous types of automobiles. She has raced, quite successfully, in Indy, which also included a 3rd place finish at the 2009 Indianapolis 500, and in NASCAR. In 2013 she became the first female to win a pole position at a major NASCAR race, which she did for the Daytona 500. She placed 8th at the race, the best by a female driver at the time.