• Apr 6th 2007 at 2:28PM
  • 20

Equal rights activists note that, with few exceptions, motor racing is an almost entirely male-dominated sport. In fact, the vast majority of racing drivers are white men, with only a handful of pioneers like Narayan Karthikeyan, Danica Patrick and Lewis Hamilton breaking through the grid. But this year, the Indianapolis 500, one of the most prominent races in the world (certainly in America) will feature, for the first time in motorsport history, three female drivers.

Lynn St. James and Sarah Fisher made history in 2000 when they became the first two women to line up together at the event, but this year Citgo-sponsored Milka Duno (pictured, right) of Venezuela will be driving a Dallara-Honda for the Samax team, along with Patrick and Fisher. Duno becomes the fifth woman to compete in the Indy 500.

The Indy Racing League is struggling, however, to fill the rest of the field. At the last reporting, only 27 entries have been received for this year's race, and seven of those don't even have drivers assigned to them yet. That's a far cry from the traditional starting grid of 33. Among the 27 currently registered for the race are five from Andretti-Green Racing, four from Vision Racing (owned by Indy chief Tony George), three from AJ Foyt, and three cars from Penske. It has not yet been revealed who will drive the third Penske car, and similar question marks loom over drivers from Vision, Foyt, Beck and Sam Schmidt's Indy Pro Series team. Meanwhile, although neither the Cheever nor Fernandez teams competed in the Indy Racing Series this season, insiders were still surprised the neither filed entries for the Indy 500.

[Source: GrandPrix.com]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      Milka simply does not have enought experience to be driving a indy car. Robin Miller has a good article on her at speedtv.com. Roadside you are very wrong in your analysis as to why the field is not filled. But you are right that tony george has a thick skull.
      • 8 Years Ago
      opps wrong forum on post above. =) Good luck Girls
      • 8 Years Ago
      One of the best Top Fuel Dragster drivers in the last 30 years just happens to be a woman.
      • 8 Years Ago
      They've struggled to fill the field the last few years but (almost) nobody has the balls to mention it. Bubble day is a joke now, since they have to scramble to find anyone on the last day to take a car around 16 consecutive turns, and the result is you end up with two or three guys who are either long, long has-beens or nobodies who end up out of the race on the first couple laps. Or maybe owner Tony George will simply run 6 or 8 or 10 cars on his team--however many he needs to fill the field.

      Bump day used to be the way to weed out the worst of the people who simply don't belong in the field, since competition was tough. If Robin Miller is correct, could Milka have made the grid in, say, 1987? Probably not. This year she'll make it as long as she keeps it off the wall.

      I love the Indy 500, but stuff like this erodes the credibility of the BW Trophy.
      Jeff Jaeger
      • 4 Years Ago
      Danica Patrick is no "Pioneer" at Indy many many women have been in that race and did well long before her! She chooses with lots of corporate help to try and maintain that image but it just isn't true. How many knew a female Indy driver was last years Rookie Of The Year???? She was in today's race but made a couple bad moves (just like the men did before her) and did not finish!
      • 8 Years Ago
      I realize there is a shortage of drivers but until these 3 women or anyone else for that matter make the field they are not in the indy 500.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I hate to break it to everyone who doesn't watch Grand American, but Milka Duno isn't particularly hot. She's more feminine than Katherine Legge, but I wouldn't say she's more attractive. She's more attractive than Vannina Ickx I guess, which isn't saying all that much.

      She's also not a particularly good driver. Don't expect to see her contending for the win or anything.

      This is a pretty pathetic move on the part of IRL.
      • 8 Years Ago
      You, uh, kinda forgot to mention that Lyn St. James and Sarah Fisher were competing in the Indy 500 until they came together and took each other out.

      Just saying ...

      Yeah, and if you look at the tape, another driver cut Sarah off. Furthermore, BOTH Sarah and Lyn finished ahead of the pole-sitter that year, who finished LAST.

      Just saying ...
      • 8 Years Ago
      The Indy 500 is over!

      It went away when Tony George came along and turned it into a spec car series, sort of like oversized Formula V's on ovals. So now it's a South American/English series with mediocre talent and cookie cutter cars. Kinda "Punks in Junk" that sells beer, hand lotion and fast food. It's not about racing, it's about selling stuff on TV.

      This year they've added "wall banging" by putting the junk on concrete walled "street courses". Street courses allow more opportunities to hit things, like stacks of tires, concrete and other spec cars, this allows more breaks for commercials.

      The IRL has about as much to do with racing as it does with "Roller Derby". Thank you Tony George !
      • 8 Years Ago
      I know its sexist, but DANG tht girl is hot. Looks and can drive. better than any of the exotic on heels gallery.
      • 8 Years Ago
      more the merrier to the sport - there's another lady erica ortiz who is a self professed 'girly girl' and manages to beat most of the men out there. She's a drag racer, works full time, part time student, and works on her own car on the weekend - and she'll probably break a bunch of records this year... http://promodprincess.pnn.com/876-erica
      • 8 Years Ago
      "Citgo-sponsored Milka Duno (pictured, right) of Venezuela."

      I wish her the best of luck, but am I the only one that notices the ties to Hugo Chavez? We don't need him and his ties to anything or anybody.
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