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Patrick became the first female driver to lead the race at Indianapolis, first when acquiring it for a lap near the 125-mile (201 km) mark while cycling through pit stops, and late in the race when she stayed out one lap longer than her rivals during a set of green-flag pit stops.Patrick overcame two crucial errors to finish fourth, the same position she started in.
In 2013, she became the first female NASCAR driver to win a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pole, turning in the fastest qualifying lap since 1990 in qualifying for the Daytona 500.
On lap 194, eventual race winner and 2005 series champion Dan Wheldon passed her as she was forced to slow in order to conserve fuel.
Patrick was subsequently passed by both Bryan Herta and her teammate Vitor Meira.
Her pit crew promptly made repairs, and due to the subsequent yellow, Patrick was able to rejoin the field, losing only one position.
When the leaders pitted for fuel on lap 172, Patrick stayed out to take the lead.