INDYCAR’s most popular driver returned to New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the second time, but today it was behind the wheel of an Indy car.  Her inaugural run was promising.

She was 10th fastest during this morning’s practice session at the 1.058-mile oval, turning a lap time of 22.40 seconds at a speed of 164.669 mph.

“I was actually surprised at how fast the track was so far,” said Patrick. “We are definitely up in the second lane where the banking is so that’s making a huge difference. It’s picking up grip but you still have the lane at the bottom. I think it will make for some good racing.” 

Patrick later joked about her NASCAR debut at “The Magic Mile.” “In the stock car I was kind of at the bottom, maybe that was my problem why I wasn’t good enough last year.”

Patrick, who pilots the No. 7 car in both NASCAR and INDYCAR, boasts one victory and 60 top-10 finishes in 109 IZOD IndyCar Series races. She’s earned one top-five and three top-10’s in NASCAR.   Patrick was the first woman to lead the Indianapolis 500 and finished third in 2009.

The action-packed INDY 225 weekend also includes the Firestone Indy Lights Series, the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and the American-Canadian Tour. Tickets can be purchased by calling the NHMS ticket hotline at (603) 783-4931 or by visiting