CHICAGO- Governor Rod R. Blagojevich proclaimed tomorrow, Sunday, June 5, 2005 “Danica Patrick Day” in Illinois in recognition of the female driver raised in Roscoe, Illinois who placed fourth last Sunday at the Indianapolis 500 auto race, the highest placing ever for a woman on one of the world’s top professional racing competitions.
“We have a new hero in Illinois. Danica made history last week and all of Illinois is proud to honor her talent and achievement,” said Gov. Blagojevich. “I’m proclaiming Sunday, June 5, 2005, as Danica Patrick Day in Illinois, and encourage everyone to join me in recognizing her success. We all look forward to her bright future in sports car racing.”
At 5-foot-1 and 100 pounds, the 23-year old Danica led the race at three different times for a total of 19 laps, thrilling the crowds at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as she tried to pull the biggest upset in all of the 89 years of the race’s history. Not only did Danica become the first woman to ever lead a lap in the history of the race, but she also captured the coveted 2005 “Rookie of the Year” trophy at the Indy awards.
Danica Patrick Day will take place on Sunday, June 5, 2005 in honor of the one-week commemoration of her outstanding performance during the race.
The Governor's Proclamation
WHEREAS, on Sunday, May 29, 2005, former Roscoe, Illinois resident, Danica Patrick, became the first woman to ever lead in the Indianapolis 500, and is now the highest-finishing woman in the history of the race; and
WHEREAS, Danica led the 2005 Indianapolis 500 at three different times during the race, for a total of 19 laps. She was ahead as late as Lap 193 of the 200 lap race, but was passed on Lap 194 by winner, Dan Wheldon; and
WHEREAS, Danica’s history-making performance at the Indianapolis 500 extended even further, as she also achieved the all-time highest finish by an Indy rookie driver at fourth place overall; and
WHEREAS, thus far in her professional endeavors, Danica Patrick’s accomplishments have been impressive, highlighted by, among other things, her third-place finish in the 2004 Toyota Atlantic Championship final season standings. Her stellar performance in this year’s Indianapolis 500 is another indication of what promises to be a truly outstanding career; and
WHEREAS, as a woman of only 23 years of age, Danica Patrick has already made her mark on history with her sparkling achievements as a professional driver. Illinois, being the state where Danica was raised, is extremely proud of her recent success, and is pleased to join in honoring her on this occasion:
THEREFORE, I, Rod R. Blagojevich, Governor of the State of Illinois, do hereby proclaim Sunday, June 5, 2005 as DANICA PATRICK DAY in Illinois, and encourage all citizens to join in recognition of Danica’s fourth place finish in the 2005 Indianapolis 500, and look forward to a bright future for this highly-talented young driver.