Women of the Indianapolis 500

Soon there will be only one place for auto racing fans to be in the Month of May: Indianapolis. The 102nd annual Indianapolis 500 race will be taking place in the Racing Capital of the World, and the month of May is full of activities, beginning May 11 when the INDYCAR Grand Prix Qualifications will kick off the season.

Girls Go Racing took a look at some of the famous women who have made history at Indy, from drivers to office holders, to record setters.

May 1971: First time women are allowed in the pits, garage area

February 1976: Arlene Hiss, first woman granted a competition license by the U.S. Auto Club, and the first to drive inan Indy-car race, at Phoenix. But, she still doesn't enter the 500.

March 1976: Janet Guthrie, first woman to enter Indy 500.

April 1976: Guthrie granted a USAC license

May 1976: Guthrie, the first woman to practice at Indy and first to pass the Indy rookie test, but she doesn't make a qualification attempt.

May 1977: Guthrie, first woman to qualify for the Indy 500, first to drive in the race, starting 26th and finishing 29th.

October 1977: Mary Fendrich Hulman becomes Speedway board chairman after death of husband, Tony.

May 1978: Mary F. Hulman gives "Gentlemen, start your engine," command; Guthrie drives her second 500, starting 15th and finishing ninth.

May 1979: Guthrie drives her third and last Indy 500, starting 14th and finishing 34th.

May 1982: Desire Wilson, second woman to enter the Indy 500, and second to pass rookie test. She makes one unsuccessful attempt to qualify, but sets a one-lap record for a woman driver at Indy at 191.042 mph.

May 1983: Wilson enters Indy but doesn't complete a rookie refresher test. Amber Furst attempts to enter the race but is denied due to lack of experience; she is not allowed to participate in the rookie orientation program.

May 1984: Wilson passes rookie refresher test but doesn't make a qualification attempt.

May 1988: Mary F. Hulman becomes Speedway board chairman emeritus. Her daughter, Mari Hulman George, becomes board chairman.

November 1990: Lyn St. James test drives at Speedway.

April 1992: St. James is third woman to enter race.

May 1992: St. James is second woman to qualify for the race. She wins Rookie of the Year and is the only rookie who completed the entire race. She finished 11th out of a field of 33.

May 2000: Sarah Fisher enters the race and races until 2010.

May 2005: Danica Patrick enters the race and races until 2011; top ten six times.

May 2007: Milka Duno (Venezuela) races until 2010.

May 2010: Simona de Silvestro (Switzerland) enters the race and races until 2015.

May 2010: Ana Beatriz Figuereido (Brazil) enters the race and races until 2013.

May 2011: Pippa Mann (UK) enters the race and races until 2017.

May 2012: Katherine Legge (UK) enters the race and races until 2013.

Quick Facts and Records at Ind
y

Fastest one-lap qualification lap: 229.675 mph – Sarah Fisher (2002)
Fastest four-lap qualification average: 229.439 mph – Sarah Fisher (2002)
Highest starting position: 4th – Danica Patrick (2005)
Highest finishing position: 3rd – Danica Patrick (2005)
Most laps completed, single race: 200 – Danica Patrick (2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011); Sarah Fisher (2009); Ana Beatriz (2013); Simona de Silvestro (2013, 2015)
Most laps completed, career: 1,337 – Danica Patrick (2005-2011)
Most laps led, single race: 19 – Danica Patrick (2005)
Most laps led, career: 29 – Danica Patrick (2005-2011)
Most races running at finish: 6 –Danica Patrick (2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011)
Most earnings, single race: $763,305 – Danica Patrick (2009)

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