Women are continuing to kick butt in Indy-car racing. Brazilian driver Ana Beatriz just became the first distaff winner of a Firestone Indy Lights race. At Nashville Superspeedway this past weekend, on lap 33 of 77, she whisked past pole sitter and teammate James Davison, and held on for the checkered flag in the Sunbelt Rentals 100. Beatriz is the fifth female to compete in the Indy Lights series.
Meanwhile Danica Patrick is on a roll after becoming the first woman in history to win in the regular Indy series. It's not so easy to win in motorsports, because so much can go wrong, but Patrick is slugging it out, race after race. In 9 finishes so far this season, she finished out of the top 10 only once. At Nashville this weekend, she was sitting 3rd towards the end, but wound up 5th after the final restart. Some have kvetched about her "theatrics" on the track, especially after her pit-row fender-bender with Ryan Briscoe in the Indy 500, but overall she is driving hard and everybody who knows says she has a fast car. So I think it's only a matter of time before Patrick pushes to another win.
Meanwhile, Venezuelan driver Milka Duno is another familiar face on the Indy circuit, though she typically runs more at the rear of the pack. But she is one of three Latino nominees for Auto Racer of the Year in Univision's Premios Deportes awards (decided by fan voting).
In victory lane, Beatriz told the press, "I just can't be more thankful for Healthy Choice/Sam Schmidt Motorsports for bringing me to the U.S. I'm really happy to be a winner as a driver, no matter of the gender." -- Patricia Nell Warren