Sure, she's attractive, and no, she hasn't won an IRL race ... yet. But make no mistake -- Danica Patrick can drive a race car. She's still young and learning, plus she switches to one of the IRL's better teams, Andretti Green Racing, for the 2007 season. Don't be surprised if she has a breakthrough performance this year.
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The wicked-looking Gary Scelzi had three Top Fuel titles and one Funny Car championship on his résumé, making him one of two NHRA drivers to win championships in both categories. In 10 seasons of driving, he has won four titles.
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With an apt sir name, Scott Speed is the best American driver who spends most of his time racing far from U.S. soil. Speed, who turned 24 in January, is the only American driver to race on the Formula One series full-time the past two decades. If Speed were to win the U.S. Grand Prix at Indy, he'd vault near the top of this list and quickly become a fan favorite.
4 of 10Fred Vuich/SI
The son of Mario Andretti and the father of Marco Andretti, Michael will probably race just once in 2007 -- in the Indianapolis 500. Michael has won 42 open-wheel events and captured the 1991 CART season championship. He finished third in the '06 Indy 500.
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Tony Schumacher has won the past three NHRA Top Fuel championships and four in his career. Schumacher won his 2006 title with the greatest comeback in NHRA history, as he was down 336 points midway through the season. The son of Funny Car legend Don Schumacher, Tony has 35 career wins, tied with Don Garlits for third all-time.
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At age 62 and coming out of retirement, Kenny Bernstein isn't tearing up the NHRA tracks so far in 2007. His body of work, however, is undeniable Hall of Fame material. He is the second winningest driver all-time in the Top Fuel category and fourth winningest Funny Car driver.
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The undisputed "King" of dirt racing, Steve Kinser has won 20 World of Outlaws titles. No driver in any form of American auto racing has dominated his type of racing like Kinser has sprint cars.
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Marco Andretti, at the age of 19, became the youngest driver to win a major Indy-style race when he won the IRL event at Infineon Raceway last August. Marco finished second in the 2006 Indy 500, joining his grandfather Mario (1965) and father Michael ('84) as winners of the Indianapolis 500 Rookie Of The Year award.
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Sam Hornish Jr.
Sam Hornish added to Penske Racing lore in 2006 by winning the Indy 500 and his third IRL season title. Just 27 years old, Hornish will race part-time on the Busch circuit in '07 in between his IRL duties, and might soon be a full-time NASCAR driver.
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John Force is the winningest driver in NHRA history, with 122 career wins and 14 Funny Car titles. He's also a huge fan favorite. After winning the 2006 title, Force celebrated by giving a Funny Car ride to his daughter Ashley, who is a star in the making.
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