Danica Patrick, a race car driver in a field overwhelmingly dominated by men, won the Indy Japan 300 on Sunday, becoming the first woman to ever win an Indy car race. The NY Times reports that Patrick had been a popular figure on the racing scene since she placed fourth at the Indy 500 in 2005, but that this victory had put to rest doubts that she could actually win a major race. After her victory, she commented, “this reaches outside racing. This is about finding something you love to do, and following through with it.”
Of course, Patrick is not the only woman involved in car racing. Less than 24 hours after Patrick's win, driver Simona De Silvestro, the only woman in a 23-car field, earned her first win in the Champ Car developmental series.
Another female racer, Sarah Fisher, commented on Patrick's success at the Indy Japan 300: “Today marks the celebration for all of us who have chipped away at the barriers that many women have faced in fields that are dominated by men.”