MOTEGI, Japan (AP) - Danica Patrick is aiming to set aside a disappointing season with a win at this weekend's Indy Japan, where she made history two years ago.
Patrick became the first female driver to win a major closed-course auto racing event when she won the Indy Japan in 2008.
``It's been a tough year and (winning) would be a really nice thing to happen with two races left,'' Patrick said Friday. ``It would be another great memory of Japan.''
Australian driver Will Power holds a 17-point lead over defending series champion Dario Franchitti and could wrap up the title with a win in Sunday's race at the 1.5-mile oval.
Patrick finished the 2009 IndyCar series a career best fifth in points on the strength of five top-five finishes. She had hoped to contend for the championship this season but has struggled and is currently 11th in the standings with 297 points.
Her 2008 breakthrough win means she is a crowd favorite in Japan.
``I've always enjoyed coming to Japan,'' Patrick said. ``I've had a lot of success here and it's a special place for a lot of different reasons, not just the win.''
Patrick's best finish this year was second place at the Firestone 550 in Forth Worth in June. She said Friday she isn't sure what the cause of her problems has been.
``To be blunt about it, if I knew the reason, I'd be able to fix it,'' Patrick said. ``I really can't put my finger on it. We want wins and we've taken some risks but luck hasn't been with us.''
Her historic win here in 2008 was attributed to fuel strategy, and Patrick said that could come into play for Sunday's race.
``Fuel tends to play a role in the race here,'' Patrick said. ``But it's hard to tell what the strategy will be. Fuel could come into it but the racing has been hard and fast all year so you've just to get into it from the get-go.''
Patrick is running a 13-race NASCAR schedule this year that is built around her IndyCar commitments.
Qualifying for Sunday's race will be held on Saturday.

Recent NASCAR Discussions

NASCAR Odds

Driver Odds
Odds to win the Careers for Veterans 200 @ Michigan International Speedway
William Byron +150
Matt Crafton +400
Johnny Sauter +500
Timothy Peters +725
Christopher Bell +825

Nascar Top Stories

Thumbnail Careers for Veterans 200 Odds The NASCAR Camping World Truck Seriesis back in action this weekend when drivers compete in the Careers for Veterans...
Thumbnail Road America 180 Odds The NASCAR Xfinity Series heads to Wisconsin this weekend for the Road American 180. Here is a look at the odds to win this...
Thumbnail Pure Michigan 400 Odds The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series returns to Michigan this week for the Pure Michigan 400. Get a look at the odds to win this race.
Thumbnail Bass Pro Shops Night Race Picks The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drives under the lights tonight for the Bass Pro Shops Night Race. Here are some drivers we like to contend for the...
Thumbnail Food City 300 Picks The NASCAR Xfinity Series kicks off the racing weekend tonight with the Food City 300. Here are some drivers we like to...
More inNASCAR Articles