Friday, August 27, 2010

Let's Hear It for the Ladies

ARCA driver Alli Owens (Motorsports Images & Archives)
This weekend at Chicagoland Speedway, no less than nine female racers will be looking to make the field across four series of motorsports.

The IZOD IndyCar Series leads all series with five women entered for Saturday's Peak Antifreeze and Motor Oil Indy 300.
Sarah Fisher, Danica Patrick (who's also running part-time this season in the NASCAR Nationwide Series), rookies Simona De Silvestro and Ana Beatriz, and Milka Duno are in the 29-car field, which is the largest for any IndyCar race this season. The record number of women entered matches that for the Indianapolis 500 in May.

On Saturday it became official that all five women entered in the PEAK Antifreeze and Motor Oil Indy 300 will start the race, the most in the history of the IZOD IndyCar Series.
 
In the Firestone Indy Lights Series, which is the developmental series for IndyCar (similar to the Nationwide Series in NASCAR), Pippa Mann is the lone female behind the wheel in Saturday's Chicagoland 100, prior to the IndyCar race.

On the stockcar end, there are two women competing in NASCAR's Camping World Truck Series and one in the ARCA Racing Series.

Rookie of the Year contender Jennifer Jo Cobb and Billy Ballew Motorsports driver Johanna Long will be running in Friday's EnjoyIllinois.com 225 truck race. Cobb recently made history, becoming the highest-ranked woman in the Truck Series points standings, reaching 16th place after Darlington. Long,
a Late Model champion in the Blizzard Series and Gulf Coast Series, will be making her third start in the series.

In ARCA, Venturini Motorsports driver and fan favorite Alli Owens will be the only woman in Friday's
Ansell Protective Gloves 150 at Chicagoland. Owens was featured in Skirts and Scuffs' Women in Racing/NASCAR series earlier this year.

As any of these drivers will tell you, they are racers who happen to be female. They're in it to win it as much as the next driver, regardless of sex. But as the faces of motorsports become more diverse, it's nevertheless exciting to see more and more women making their presence known on the racetrack.

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