After unfortunate start, Danica finishes 5th on road course

StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-118538967920117.jpg’, ‘Photo courtesy of‘, ‘Danica Patrick found herself in the front row at the start of the Honda 200 last weekend and finished fifth—a personal best for her on a road/street course.‘);

“Must be in the front row!” That’s exactly where former Roscoe resident Danica Patrick found herself at the start of the Honda 200 last weekend. After qualifying second, she started the race on the outside of row one, next to pole-sitter Helio Castroneves.

It looked as though Patrick was in a pretty good position to earn the first victory of her career. Unfortunately for her, and through no fault of her own, that would all change within seconds after the start of the race.

Momentarily after the drop of the green flag, fellow Andretti Green racing teammate Tony Kanaan grazed Patrick going into the first turn on the Mid-Ohio road course. The contact caused Patrick to leave the track, and forced her to drive her car through the grass to get back onto the track. Even though she was able to continue the race, she quickly dropped from second all the way back to ninth prior to the completion of the first lap.

It could have been worse. After grazing Patrick, Kanaan slammed wheel to wheel into one of his other teammates, Marco Andretti, who got the worst of it. The collision caused Andretti’s car to careen out of control. When the car finally came to a stop, Andretti found himself upside down in his car, and unable to finish the race.

Patrick eventually found her way back up to fifth by the end of the race. The fifth-place finish was a personal best for her on a road/street course.

After starting the race in the sixth spot, Scott Dixon won for the third consecutive weekend. The third win in a row ties an IndyCar series record shared by Dan Wheldon and Kenny Brack.

Dixon’s recent success has pulled him to within 24 points of series leader Dario Franchitti. Only five races remain in the series’ 17-race schedule. Three will be run on oval tracks, and two remain on road courses. Patrick is in seventh place, 177 points behind Franchitti.

The series will take a week off before returning to action for the Firestone Indy 400 at the Michigan International Speedway Sunday, Aug. 5.

Doug Halberstadt can be reached via e-mail at

from the July 25-31, 2007, issue

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