History lesson: The Women of Indy

HVM Racing driver Simona De Silvestro of Switzerland adjusts her earplugs with her hands bandaged...

HVM Racing driver Simona De Silvestro of Switzerland adjusts her earplugs with her hands bandaged from burns in a recent crash after qualifying for the Indy 500. (GEOFFE MILLER/Reuters)

DEAN McNULTY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:10 AM ET

INDIANAPOLIS - There will be four women racing Sunday in the Indy 500 — Danica Patrick, Ana Beatriz, Simona de Silvestro and Pippa Mann.

But through the first 100 years of the race there have been very few women at Indy. Here is a list of those who have tackled the 2.5-mile Brickyard:

1. Desire Wilson Dwas the first women to pass the Indy 500 driver’s test but failed to qualify for the race in 1982.

2. Lyn St. James became the first woman to qualify for the big race in 1992. It turned out to be the first of seven attempts to win on Memorial Day weekend. St. James’ highest starting spot was sixth and her best finish was 11th.

3. Sarah Fisher made her first start at Indy in 2000 and currently holds the mark for the most starts by a woman with nine. She had a best start of ninth in 2002, and a career-best finish of 17th in 2009.

4. Danica Patrick made her start at Indy in 2005 and became the first woman to lead a lap in her rookie try.

She started fourth that year, still a record for women. Her best finish, third in 2009 is also a record for women and she has led 19 laps at IMS.

5. Milka Duno is the least successful of the women who have raced in the Indy 500. She has three starts — 2007, 2008, 2009 — with a best start of 27th and a best finish of 19th, both in 2008. She failed to make the field in 2010.

6. Ana Beatriz started her first Indy 500 last season as a rookie, qualifying 21st on the grid. She finished where she started — 21st.

7. Simona de Silvestro was also a rookie last season and started beside Beatriz in 22nd place. De Silvestro moved up to a 14th-place finish.

8. Pippa Mann makes her first appearance at Indy on Sunday. Last season she became the first woman to win a pole at Indy in the Indy Lights series.

Friday’s final practice speeds for Indianaplis 500

1: Scott Dixon — 225.474 m.p.h.

2: Alex Tagliani — 224.739

3: Dario Franchitti — 224.658

4: Vitor Meira — 224.480

5: Dan Wheldon — 224.439

6: Buddy Rice — 224.409

7: Ryan Hunter-Reay — 223.390

8: Tony Kanaan — 223.868

9: Helio Castroneves — 223.861

10: John Andretti — 223.852

11: JR Hildebrand — 223.830

12: Townsend Bell — 223.808

13: Will Power — 223.780

14: Graham Rahal — 223.422

15: Ryan Briscoe — 223.373

16: Ed Carpenter — 223.221

17: Paul Tracy —223.211

18: Justin Wilson — 223.159

19: Jay Howard — 223.041

20: Danica Patrick — 222.829

21: Alex Lloyd — 222.777

22: Simona de Silvestro — 222.735

23: Bertrand Baquette — 222.678

24: Ana Beatriz — 222.600

25: James Hinchcliffe — 222.434

26: Charlie Kimball — 222.253

27: Davey Hamilton — 222.168

28: Oriol Servia — 222.165

29: Marco Andretti — 221.826

30: Pippa Mann — 220.891

31: Tomas Scheckter — 220.480

32: E.J. Viso — 219.815

33: Takuma Sato — 207.220


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