Saturday, May 26, 2007

Hot and Fast!!! What? I was talking about the cars...3 woman drivers will start for Indy 500

Mika Dunno makes it 3 wide racing for the woman anyways for the 91st running of the Indy 500.
The rookie driver from Venezuela turned some of her fastest laps all month to tentatively qualify 29th for the May 27 Indianapolis 500 with a four-lap average of 219.228 mph.

Dunno will join Danica Patrick and Sarah Fisher, both veterans at Indy, on the 33-car grid.

It will be the first time 3 woman have started at the Indy 500.

Only 5 woman have made the field in the races 91 year history. Janet Guthrie became the first woman to compete in the 1977 Indy 500 but finished 29th with engine troubles. She would compete in two more Indy 500s, finishing as high as ninth in the 1978 race.

Women making the event has caused a real firestorm in the past among some male fans who do not like the idea of female drivers. Although the controversy has become less severe it still exists among some fans.

Some feel there may be some extra caution flags come Sunday.

I say what is the big deal. They got in a car and drove it fast enough to qualify, let them race. If you don't like it get your own car and drive faster, but good luck with that...219 that is fast!

In fact...I don't understand what the big story is about women making the field anymore. It is not like this is somekind of new phenomenom.

13 out of the last 15 indy 500s has had a woman in the field. So why does the media keep beating this story year after year.

The only difference between this year and years past it that a woman is actually being consideres as a contender before the green flag is dropped on Sunday.

Danica Patrick will start eighth in a top-flight Andretti Green Racing Dallara-Honda, and is one of 10-12 drivers that is being given real consideration as a contender by the experts. So perhaps that should be the story, not that women are making the field.

Anyways Danica Patrick, Sarah Fisher and Milka Duno have been mobbed by reporters in the days leading up to the Indy 500, and the questions are the same ones they've been answering since they reached the top levels of motorsports:

Do you feel like you're making history?

Can women compete against men?

Is this a significant statement for women?

What will it mean if a woman wins the Indy 500?

And, of course, each year a bungled question to a female driver comes out as this: How does it feel to be a woman?

For the most part, their male counterparts don't begrudge the women their place on the racetrack. Women on a racetrack is not that uncommon of a thing anymore, most of the men in the field at Indy have raced against women since their karting days.

Driver Sarah Fisher, who will also being racing on Sunday seems to agree with me.

"Just because there are other women out there doesn't make me want to go any harder or faster," Fisher says. "Everybody is the same in my mind. I think it's great what this has done for the league and the sport. We've drawn a lot of attention to it. It's made the league more popular. People are tuning in. That's awesome. As an open-wheel fan, I couldn't want any more for the series, so that's great. But to me on track, they're just two more cars."

In this day an age woman are competing on the track just the same as men and have been for a while. The old I am woman here me roar stories of the past is no longer news. If the media wants a female angle in Indy the real story is that this is all old news unless a female wins on Sunday and Danica Patrick very well could.

I am not a big indy race fan. I prefer NASCAR, but if the field keeps growing like this... Hot and Fast, it could get my attention. What? I was talking about the cars...

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