I Like Fast Women

Posted: Monday, April 21, 2008 at 12:00 am
By: Doug Lund
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I suppose a headline like that could get me kicked right out of Springdale Lutheran Church just a week after joining.
But get your minds out of the gutter, people, I’m talking about women who are involved in motorsports..not as trophy girls but drivers.
26 year old Danica Patrick would be welcome as a trophy girl at any track in America.
Guys would drive extra hard for a win and the chance to be kissed by this strikingly beautiful woman.
But Patrick doesn’t hand out trophies..they’re handed to her.
She made history over the weekend by becoming the first female driver to win a race in an Indy Car..the same cars that compete in the Indianapolis 500.
The pressure was really on for Patrick to live up to all the hype she’s received since starting the Indy 500 a few years ago and actually leading for a few laps.
The fact that she’s about as cute as a button has made her the darling of advertisers on television and in magazines.
She made millions of guys drool when she appeared in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition.
But, Danica hasn’t done much on the track and people were beginning to wonder if she was all show and no go.
But now she, along with the struggling Indy Racing League and the media can relax and rub their hands together with joy because she’s a winner!
Her’s wasn’t the fastest car in the IRL race in Japan Saturday but pit strategy and fuel conservation put her in front after everybody else had to stop for gas.
She broke into tears after the race out of relief  she’ll no longer have to answer the same question over and over; when will you win?
 You have to wonder, though, if Danica Patrick looked like Jane Hathaway from The Beverly Hillbillies instead of Ellie May Clampett, would she get as much attention?
 
A woman, who actually did resemble Mr. Drysdale’s secretary, was the real trail blazer in the sport.
When Janet Guthrie became the first woman to qualify for the Indy 500 in 1977, she received just about as many jeers as cheers.
A lot fans and drivers couldn’t get past her gender and considered her to be a dangerous novelty behind the wheel of a race car at speeds approaching 200 miles an hour.
Guthrie drove in the big race twice. Her best finish was 9th. Not bad considering the pressures she was under. 
She even tried her hand at NASCAR for a while, driving in over 30 races on the Winston Cup stock car circuit but that also proved to be a rough road. She didn’t have the best equipment, she took a lot of heat from the good ‘ole Southern boys on the track and there wasn’t enough make-up in the world to make up for her appearance in the eyes of advertisers and promoters.
Now 68, Guthrie has written a book called “Against all Odds” about her years trying to compete and be successful in the male-dominated sport of auto racing.
 
Danica Patrick has certainly broken new ground with her win… but look who’s nipping at her heels.
   
 Milka Duno, a native of Venezuela who lives in Miami, is 36 and has been tearing up the tracks..and winning..for the last 12 years in all types of racing series from sports cars to open wheel which now includes the IRL.
Experts say she’s also poised for victory. The Indy Racing League and Madison Avenue would love nothing more than to have Duno running wheel to wheel with Patrick each week. Can you imagine the P.R. possibilities? If only they could get one of them to become a blonde.
I’m not saying that Danica and Milka aren’t as talented or determined as any of the male drivers but I have to wonder if there aren’t a lot of other Janet Guthries out there who’ll never get the chance to race in the big time because their looks don’t dazzle.
 
I was going to write about and post some pictures of the babes involved in drag racing like Ashley Force, Angelle Sampey and Melanie Troxel but Linda is already getting suspicious about why I’ve spent so much time on today’s blog.

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