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Patrick rues late-race yellow at Indy


Danica Patrick, AGR, Indianapolis 500Danica Patrick believes she could have won the 2009 Indianapolis 500 but for a late caution period to deal with Vitor Meira's serious accident.

The Andretti Green driver, who finished third behind Helio Castroneves and Dan Wheldon, made history in the event by recording the best finish ever for a woman in the event.

Patrick was hoping to capitalise on a clever fuel strategy in the late stages of the race, which looked set to run to the finish uninterrupted until Meira and Raphael Matos collided. Meira was taken to Methodist Hospital complaining of severe back pain after his Foyt car careered backwards on its side along the barrier.

"Actually I would have liked to have seen it just gone green for the whole last stint without that last yellow," said Patrick afterwards. "We were going to have to be smart with our fuel but we were already cranking it down before the yellow came out.

"I think we would have been fine and that would have played into our hands.

"I had a really good car, and a really good car on long runs. I think I had a little bit more downforce than Dan [Wheldon]. At least that is what it appeared to be, because I would get good runs on him and it just wasn't enough really."

Patrick ended the race as the top AGR driver, after team-mates Marco Andretti and Tony Kanaan both crashed out. Hideki Mutoh finished tenth.

"I think that the track got better overall as the race went on," said Patrick. "I think that my car really came to me, we were able to run flat all the way around towards the end which is what we were looking for so I'm happy with it.

"I wish would have had a better shot at the win but what are you going to do?"Patr

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