Fisher, Patrick on different tracks

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Despite their different status in the IndyCar Series now, both Patrick and Fisher had similar beginnings on the circuit.

Fisher broke onto the Indy Car scene in 2000, finishing third at Kentucky Speedway and becoming the first woman to lead laps at an IndyCar Series event. In 2001, she finished second at Homestead-Miami Speedway, the best-ever result for a female driver until that point. Patrick broke onto the scene in 2005 by becoming the first woman to lead laps at the Indy 500 and securing six top 10 results and Rookie of the Year honors.

In recent years, Fisher has struggled to land a consistent ride, jumping from team to team and even making a brief foray into one of NASCAR’s developmental series. Fisher late last year broke out on her own, launching her own team with her husband and father-in-law.

“I think with Sarah, the dream has probably faded a little bit and she’s holding on and hoping to continue in a sport that she loves and that maybe she didn’t achieve everything she had hoped to,” Goodyear said. “And with Danica, I think her personality is at a point where she’s going to get to the front, and if she has to drive over you, she won’t care.”

Fisher has managed to replace some of the lost sponsorship money by striking a deal with local Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and children’s book publisher the Seif. Briney said that over time, sponsors will learn that the Sarah Fisher Racing brand is one that sponsors will like.

“We’re such different entities,” he said. “We’re small, we’re approachable. Sarah’s seen as the girl next door who anyone can approach. I think we have a different package to sell, most definitely.”

One would assume that Patrick and Fisher have struck a female bond, but both say they barely knowing the other. Fisher said she has spoken with Patrick more recently since the victory in Japan, but that the two have different personalities and don’t speak much beyond normal courtesies.

“I respect her ability and think it’s really neat what she’s been doing,” Fisher said. “We’re different people, but I think in the end we both love racing and we’re both very passionate about being in the IndyCar Series.”

And would Patrick ever follow Fisher’s lead and branch out on her own?

“She is a brave woman,” Patrick said. “At this point of my life, I couldn’t even fathom owning a team. Much props to her for taking that chance.”

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