The Indianapolis 500: A primer
Memorial Day weekend is all about summer, barbeques, outdoor time with friends and family and the Indianapolis 500. Today we turn our attention to fast tracks, fast cars, and the women who drive them!
The Indianapolis 500 is an automobile race held annually since 1911, except for the war years 1917–18 and 1942–45. The race is always run at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. The race was originally advertised as the “International 500-Mile Sweepstakes Race” from 1911 to 1916. However, from its inception, the race has been widely known as the Indianapolis 500 or, more simply as “the 500.”
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is a 2.5-mile (4 km) oval circuit. The track is a rounded rectangle, with four distinct turns of identical dimensions, connected by four straightaways (two long straightaways and two “short chutes”). The track’s width is 50 feet on the straightaways and 60 feet in the turns. Its turns are banked at 9 degrees. The speedway sits on 963.4 acres (which includes the Brickyard Crossing Golf Course, 315 acres of parking lots and a solar farm). There are 17 grandstands, 26 bridges and six tunnels. The infield is 253 acres.
There have been ten women racing drivers who have officially entered at least once in the Indianapolis 500 race. Janet Guthrie was the first woman to qualify and race in the Indy 500 in 1977. Other women who have raced in the Indy 500 include Lyn St. James, Sarah Fisher, Danica Patrick, Milka Duno, Simona de Silvestro, Ana Beatriz Figueiredo and Pippa Mann.
You can find more information about women who have raced in the Indianapolis 500 at this link:
Meet the pioneering women who have raced in the Indianapolis 500 | Drivers | FinM (femalesinmotorsport.com)
Ladies, start your engines!