Danica Patrick will celebrate the one year anniversary of her historic maiden win in the IndyCar Series this weekend as the series heads to Long Beach for the second round of the year.
On the same weekend that Champ Car was holding its final ever race at Long Beach last year, Patrick took victory at Twin Ring Motegi – making her the first female winner of a major open-wheel event.
This weekend, the Andretti Green Racing driver returns to Long Beach – where she was taken straight after her Motegi win – to contest the second round of the 2009 campaign and she admitted that, even twelve months on, the victory still hadn't really sunk in.
“I don't think enough time has passed to really have that sort of deep reflection and introspect to the event and what it did and what it meant to me,” she said. “One thing I've heard more of over the last few months is parents that I know or are involved in racing say, 'You know what, my two little girls love you' or 'My mom loves you.' It's really very flattering when people say things like that.
“I still get people saying congrats on the win. I don't feel any different. I think it will take more time to get that reflection that it deserves for the moment.”
Patrick, who will be making her debut at Long Beach this weekend, added that she was keen to try and secure more wins during the 2009 having admitted she should have won more in 2008.
“Quite simply, my job is to win races so I really wish I would have won more than just the one last year,” she said. “But we just didn't have the speed and the strength we needed to contend for more victories and to grab them. They say the first win is the hardest to get, which I agree with. It's even more realistic now with having a win, and hopefully more will come now.”