Walter Hagen, the golf guru, once said that no one will remember who came in second.
Mrs. Linklater, the asskicking guru, suggests that anyone who saw yesterday's Indy 500 will be hard pressed to remember who won.
Because this was Danica Patrick's race.
She was the first serious female
contender with a chance to win the big one at the Brickyard. But at the
end of the day her number was four.
Danica was the fourth woman to ever
qualify at Indy. She qualified in fourth position -- the first woman to
start in such a high position. And she finished fourth -- the highest
female finisher ever. Higher than a lot of guys who have been racing at
Indy for years it could be pointed out, unnecessarily.
Somewhere a numerologist is having a field day.
She made some rookie mistakes,
killing the engine during a pit stop for one. She also lost a front flange
after being tapped from behind in what became a multicar wreck, doing a full three sixty before gaining
contol of her car again.
But she made some slick moves, too,
working her way back from sixteenth place to slingshot into the lead
with 28 laps to go, propelled by the deafening roar of a very
supportive crowd of more than one hundred thousand spectators.
The moment had finally arrived -- a
woman was leading the historic race for the first time. She led three
times over nineteen laps.
And like Woodstock, the number of people who were actually at the track
when it happened will increase exponentially over the years.
With six laps to go Danica was
still in first place. But to conserve fuel she had to slow down to
insure that she finished. So three other drivers crossed the line ahead
of her. Three drivers whose names have already become the answer to a
No Danica Patrick didn't win the
Indy 500, but she sure won the hearts and minds of racing fans who are
ready and waiting for this young woman to take her place in
I wonder what a Danica hat is selling for today on eBay.