Danica shows the boys

Danica Patrick turned the preparations for the Indianapolis 500 into a media circus on Thursday when she set the fastest lap of the day, clocking 227.633mph, in the run-up to qualifying this weekend. Patrick has been fast since the start of practice, which included two days of rookie tests. This extra running may help to account for some of the speed but whatever the case she is clearly going well and her rivals are struggling to beat her. Patrick's Rahal Letterman Racing team mate Buddy Rice, who won the race last year, has already hit the wall and will miss qualifying this weekend because of concussion and severe bruising of his back. Patrick is the first woman to top the timesheets at Indianapolis since 1977 when Janet Guthrie did it.

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