Sunday, April 20, 2008

No more "glass ceiling" in IndyCar...thanks to Danica Patrick

For those of you out there that are racing fans, especially IndyCar racing fans, you're all aware and have heard the news that Danica Patrick just became the first female to win an IndyCar race.

I'm not a big racing fan but there are times when I'll stop and watch a race on a Sunday afternoon.

Like most of you out there, you've all heard of Danica Patrick - she been racing since 2005 and has been gaining attention year after year.

I was reading this article on the NY Times and found out some more information regarding some of the history of women in this sport.

Check out this quote from that NY Times article...There was a time when Patrick could not have competed in Sunday’s race. A few years before Janet Guthrie, an aerospace engineer and road racer, became the first woman to qualify for the Indy 500 in 1977, women were not allowed in the press box, the garage area or the pits.

As Guthrie wrote in “Life at Full Throttle,” an account of her career in racing, women were dismissed as lacking the strength, endurance and emotional stability to compete against men. Even a driver with Guthrie’s credentials as a road racer was seen as dangerous.

“A woman might be a reporter, a photographer, a timer/scorer, she might own the race car — but she couldn't’t get near it at any time for any reason,” Guthrie wrote. “A woman on the track itself was unthinkable.”

It sounds like we've had a good day in racing and a great day for women in this formerly male-dominated sport...