/ IZOD INDYcar SerIeS / DANICA’S DEPARTURE
Smart team strategy and flawless driving brought a win over Helio castroneves at Motegi’s oval in 2008, but a sharp decline in her qualifying performances on road/street courses (BeLOW) killed her chances on them.
Paul Webb /LAT
Paul Webb /LAT
Where Danica Mania started –
the rookie leads the 2005 Indy 500.
of a guy. She didn’t cry if things didn’t go her way; she got pissed.
“I’d never seen a woman with that kind of competitive attitude,
except maybe Desire Wilson,” continues Rahal, speaking of the
only woman to ever win a race in Formula 1 cars (the Aurora British
series). “Danica had somewhat of a killer instinct in her and that’s
how she drove at times. But she also drives pretty smart and doesn’t
make many mistakes. She had a drive I’d never seen in other women.”
Adds former teammate Tony Kanaan: “Danica is mentally tough
– you have to be to survive in this business – and her determination
is keen as well.”
Considering she was weaned on road racing, caught Rahal’s eye
by finishing second in the British Formula Ford Festival and did a
good job in the Atlantic Series, it was a bit of a shock to find that,
in an IndyCar, she was much more competitive on ovals. And, in
the end, that’s what has driven her to stock cars.
“I only drove an oval once in Atlantics at Milwaukee but I liked it
immediately,” she recalls. “And that’s what I like about NASCAR:
rule offset her lack of strength,” says Paul
“Ziggy” Harcus, team manager for Andretti.