Patricks breaks new ground with win

MOTEGI, Japan (AP) - Danica Patrick has become the first female winner in IndyCar history, taking the Indy Japan 300 after the top contenders were forced to pit for fuel in the final laps.

Patrick finished more than 5.8 seconds ahead of pole-sitter Helio Castroneves (EH'-lee-oh kas-troh-NEH'-vehz) after leader Scott Dixon went in for a pit stop with five laps remaining.

Patrick won in her fourth season in the IRL. She finished a career-best seventh in the season standings last year and was second in the race at Detroit's Belle Isle.

At the 2005 Indy 500, she nearly won the pole and became the first female driver to lead the race, finishing fourth. It was the best finish by a woman at Indy, and helped her take rookie-of-the-year honors.