Patrick not biding her time

DEREK VAN DIEST, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:34 AM ET

She made history by becoming the first woman to a win a major closed-course auto-racing event last season.

This year it only seems a matter of time before Danica Patrick wins another.

Once again behind the wheel for Andretti Green Racing, the Roscoe, Ill., native is currently fifth in the IndyCar series standings heading into this weekend's event in Toronto.

"I think that if you are running consistently every weekend, you are going to have that chance to get another win at some point," Patrick said via satellite from Toronto yesterday. "If you consistently run in the top five and luck is on your side, you are bound to get a win.

"Things are going really good for us right now, everyone is having a good time and we are having a lot of fun."

FIVE TOP-FIVES

Patrick has five, top-five finishes this season, including a third-place finish at the Indianapolis 500 in May. She had just three top-five finishes all of last year.

"I think every year there is something that is a breakthrough," she said. "I got my first win last year and having that many top-fives this year beats any amount of top-fives that I've had in previous years and we're only halfway done.

"I'm working as hard as I can outside the car, doing more things to prepare for an event that I haven't done before. I'm being harder on myself than any other year about the areas that I need to improve."

Patrick's one career win came in Motegi, Japan, last season. She was never really in contention for another victory for the rest of the year and in fact only led for one lap through the remaining 14 races of the season. This year she led for 24 laps in Iowa.

"I want to go out there and win every single race, but it's hard," she said. "There are some really good drivers and you really just have to be on that weekend and catch a few breaks. To come away from this season with another win -- even if it's just one -- would be great."

If she doesn't claim the checkered flag in Toronto on Sunday, her next opportunity will be at the Rexall Edmonton Indy two weeks later.

Last season Patrick finished 18th at the City Centre Airport track.

"One of the things about Edmonton is that it's very flat, although there are actually a few hills and curves and banks and things that can make it bumpy along the track," she said. "There are also a lot of long, really open spaces. I think that final turn, there is miles of exit room around the corner, so it makes for a very fast track.

ROUGH TRACK

"One of the things about Edmonton is that it is quite rough, so you have to hang on and be on top of that car, but it makes for better racing on a track like that, I think, because you have an opportunity to pass. There is somewhere to go if you manage to get around a person coming around a corner, where as at some other tracks you'd hit the wall."

As one of the few females on the circuit and the one with the highest profile, Patrick is once again expected to be a big attraction at this year's event in Edmonton.

Last year's event was the first time she competed in Canada.

"I think Canadian fans are awesome, they are very educated when it comes to open-wheel racing," she said. "There always seems to be so many of them, so I enjoy coming up to Canada. I love the culture and I love the people and it's always a lot of fun up here."


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