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'Repackaged' AirTran Plane Marks Patrick Indy Win

At least one marketer with deals with Danica Patrick is making hay of her win this past weekend. Indy driver Patrick became the first woman to win an IndyCar Series race at the Bridgestone Indy Japan 300 race in Montegi, Japan. AirTran Airways, a sponsor of Andretti Green Racing, for whom Patrick drives, is doing up one of its airplanes to commemorate her first win.

The airline has put Patrick into an assortment of marketing efforts in the past. She was part of an online racing game, for instance. The airline commemorated her win with "AirTranica Day," aircraft livery and photo of Danica Patrick on a Boeing 717-200 aircraft. The plane, which the airline is calling "AirTranica Won," flew Monday as AirTran flight 994 from Orlando to Pittsburgh and will operate as AirTran flight 993 from Pittsburgh to Atlanta.

AirTran has its logos on both Patrick's No. 7 car and uniform.

Patrick finished 5.8 seconds ahead of Helio Castroneves on the 1.5-mile twin oval track. Patrick's first win came in her 50th professional start.--Nina M. Lentini

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