The First Woman…

May 23, 2008

Indy 500 winner?! Danica Patrick may just cross that finish line first this weekend in Indianapolis. And wait, before you say that male drivers are at a disadvantage since there are more female drivers than ever before … Sorry, I couldn’t resist that, given the spirited conversation we’ve been having lately about equity in education.

Various accounts of Danica’s story highlight her accomplishments in the racing arena. She’s only the fourth woman to compete in an Indy series, the first woman to lead an Indy race, and the first woman to come in fourth, as she did in the 2005 Indianapolis 500. She was awarded “Rookie of the Year” for both the 2005 Indy 500 and the 2005 IndyCar Series season. Recently, in April of this year, she won the Indy Japan 300, the first woman to ever win an Indy race.

Her experience as a racecar driver had not been without controversy or adverse comment. Her weight, apparently 100 pounds at last count, may or may not (depending on who you read) give her an advantage. The fact that she posed in a famous magazine’s annual swimsuit issue has folks judging that beauty belies talent or brains. Hmm…

I was happy to see columnists, like Bill Center of the Union Tribe, write pieces giving a balanced point of view of Danica’s as well as other driver’s chances for the upcoming race. Always a Petty and Earnhardt fan of this sport, I can’t wait to add “Patrick” to the list. Good luck!

Christy Jones, CAE By:   |   May 23, 2008


  1. Avatar Emre says:

    Thanks for this post…

  2. Avatar Nancy Mitchell says:

    It appears we are about to lose our chance for the first woman president, too.

  3. Avatar Lydia says:

    An update, during the final round of pit-stops during the Indy 500, Patrick’s car collided with another driver’s car (Ryan Briscoe), ultimately putting both cars out of the race. Neither admitted fault and tempers flew on both sides. So the historic moment will have to wait for another race, another time.

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