Indy 500 -- May 29, 2005

A weekly feature on This Week.


We begin the list with the buzz of the brickyard: Everyone's talking about Danica Patrick. Will she be the first woman to win the Indy 500? Patrick is on the Rahal/Letterman team with former champions Buddy Rice and Kenny Brack. They all know -- all too well -- the perils that come with that promise.

Danica Patrick: "I wouldn't come out here, and I wouldn't put my life on the line and sacrifice the time and the energy of everyone around me, if I didn't feel like I could win."

Buddy Rice: "Winning the 500 is just -- it's the icon. It's the pinnacle of open-wheel racing."

Kenny Brack: "Winning this the first time, you don't really-- it's hard to really know what it means."

Patrick: "I think that there is a small element of worry about being hurt, being killed. I think there is."

Rice: "You don't know how fast you're really going until you have a big problem or you have a crash."

Rice: "Kenny's accident, that's probably the worst I've ever seen."

Brack: "I woke up, four, five days later, I think."

Brack: "Well, I had, obviously, a concussion, some bleeding in the brain. I had a broken sternum in two places, crushed vertebrae in my back. I had a broken femur in two places, I believe. I broke my left ankle. I broke a lot of bones."

Rice: "I just rolled out -- was on like my second lap … just as that wind came in, and it spun the tires. And the car just took off, and it was over with."

Brack: "It's weird in many ways, because Buddy replaced me, and now I'm replacing him."

Patrick: "I was meant to do this, and I think I was just prepared from the time I was born."

Brack: "I think Danica, she's a very good driver, obviously. You're not going to hop into these cars and be that fast if you're not good."

Buddy Rice: "With her, she's still learning a lot. The race is a long race. And she's never gone this long in a race before, so that makes it very different."

Patrick: "I'm just gonna hope and pray that I'm safe, number one, and that I'm given a little bit of wisdom that I don't yet have, and to be really fast."


The Tonight Show with Jay Leno:

Leno: "The FBI said that the grenade that was thrown near President Bush when he was in Russia was real and could have exploded. Do you know what that means? This is the closest that the Bush administration has come to finding weapons of mass destruction."

Late Night with Conan O'Brien:

O'Brien: "Good news from Washington this week: The Senate finally reached a compromise to allow President Bush's candidates to be voted on without a filibuster. … In a related story, President Bush still thinks a filibuster is a chocolate-covered peanut bar."

The Tonight Show with Jay Leno:

Leno: "Today, President Bush met with Palestinian President Abbas. Anyway, they had a news conference on the lawn, you know, where they both spoke from the podium. Again, you see, this-- I don't think President Bush was focused. I don't think he was paying attention. Well, here, take a look."

[Abbas speaks in Arabic; Bush fidgets with earpiece]

Audio: "And a drive right here to right field, hit pretty well. And it's gone! A home run. We've got a tie ball game."