From 5 To 1 In 200 Laps

Camille JonesContributor IIIAugust 29, 2010

JOLIET, IL - AUGUST 28:  Ed Carpenter drives the #20 Fuzzy's Panther Vision Racing Dallara Honda during  the Indy Car Series PEAK Antifreeze and Motor Oil Indy 300 on August 28, 2010 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

Entering Saturday night's IndyCar race at Chicagoland, five women stood at the starting grid before entering their cars, each of them with a mission to finish well, and show fans that women do have a place in racing just as much as the men do.

For the first time in IndyCar history, five ladies would take the green flag. 

Starting towards the back, Simona de Silvestro, the rookie from Switzerland, who recently stormed the road courses with a string of high qualifying and finishing positions, would take off from 27th out of the 29 cars in the field. She left Chicagoland with a finish of 23rd, after ending the race at the 150th lap due to mechanical problems. 

A driver who shocked many to not be starting last, Milka Duno, took off from the 26th starting position, taking home a finish of 19th, still running, and three laps down.

Another rookie, Ana Beatriz, tried to get into the mix after starting 22nd, though finished 24th after also suffering from mechanical problems, sending her back to the garage during the middle of the race. She returned many laps later, only to complete 88 of the 200 laps. 

Finding her way to leading the pack after a long string of tough finishes, whether they be still running a few laps down, or back in the garage, listening to what could have been, though never happened, Sarah Fisher took the lead for ten laps after a pit strategy kept her high in the field. She held off the barreling Penske and Ganassi boys, holding her own in the lead position. Though, after only a good amount of laps, she was forced to pit, resulting in her going a lap down.

Out of the five women, only one woman finished on the lead lap. Danica Patrick rarely got up into the mix, though kept around the top ten later in the race. A late pit strategy of taking fuel only got her up to sixth, though the wearing tires dropped her back to 14th. The strategy worked for some, such as the race winner, Dario Franchitti, but for others it just wasn't enough. Though holding pretty strong all weekend long, she finished the race with a 14th place finish.

It was great to see girl power storming the track during the late evening race under the sunset. The sparks flying, the rubber burning, and the side-by-side racing kept everyone on their toes until the checkered flag flew.