That was Danica Patrick's relieved and jubilant exclamation about an hour ago, after she became the first woman to win an IndyCar race. Finally, indeed. I'm not an auto racing fan, but I am a big sports fan. As such, I like to watch all the biggest events, even if it's a sport I'm not really that into or don't know that much about. So although I don't really follow IndyCar racing, I do watch the Indy 500 almost every year. I watched every minute of it in 2005, when Patrick, then a rookie, started on the first row and damn near won the whole thing. It was absolutely thrilling. Since then, I've made it a point to check in on races every now and again, because I knew she would win one at some point, and then many more. The rest of the season passed, then the next, and the next ... and nothing. I got apathetic, I admit it. So when I got home from work tonight, knowing full well the race was going on in Japan and I could watch it if I wanted to, I read a book instead. A couple hours later, I thought, "Oh, I wonder if it's over?" So I flipped on SportsCenter to see Patrick and her family celebrating in pit road. Damnation! I missed out on history to take a bath and read a book. Ninety-nine percent of the time, that's an evening well-spent. Tonight, it turned out to be a stupid move. But I'm still thrilled, even though I didn't get to see the victory as it happened. No matter how one feels about auto racing in general, this is a tremendous milestone for women in sports.
I'm still not too crazy about the grody, almost-spreadeagle photos she did for FHM, but whatever. Danica Patrick is hot and a hell of a race-car driver, and this is her day. Congrats, Danica.