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Danica Patrick steals headlines at 2005 Indy 500

Danica Patrick steals headlines at 2005 Indy 500
Danica Patrick steals headlines at 2005 Indy 500
Posted at 5:03 PM, May 17, 2016

INDIANAPOLIS -- After years of debate and failed attempts, a bill to observe Daylight Saving Time became law in Indiana in 2005. Hoosiers would move their clocks ahead the following year in 2006.

At the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, several changes were made for the 89th running of the Indianapolis 500. 

A day was added to qualifications for a total of four, Carb Day was moved from Thursday to Friday, and race day's start time was moved back one hour from 11 a.m. to noon.

On the track, a rookie driver grabbed the national spotlight: 23-year-old Danica Patrick not only qualified 4th, she led a total of 19 laps, becoming the first woman to ever lead the 500.

She and Englishman Dan Wheldon traded the top spot back and forth in the last 35 laps, leading to the suspense of the possible first female winner.

Wheldon eventually grabbed the lead for good on lap 194, and took the checkered flag under caution.

Patrick ultimately finished fourth and was named Rookie of the Year while stealing headlines throughout the racing season. She appeared on morning talk shows and graced the cover of Sports Illustrated, prompting Wheldon to jokingly wear a T-shirt that read, "I actually won the Indy 500." The broadcast crew was heavily criticized for focusing too much on Patrick, but it was the highest-rated race in a decade.

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