Sunday, May 26, 2002
Sarah Fisher's second-place finish in Homestead, Fla., last year was the top showing by a woman in Indy-car history. She earned two top-10 finishes and pushed her career earnings to more than $1 million. [Via CNNSI]Sarah's (unofficial) 24th place finish in the Indianapolis 500 today may have disappointed her, but it marks her first running finish at Indy (she wrecked the last two years), and that in itself deserves great respect. This is perhaps the world's most demanding sport, which I started following some years back when we had a friend driving in the IRL. The planetary, financial, legal and technological convergences it takes to qualify and finish at Indy are mind-blowing for anyone, and overcoming the gender gap to boot? Well, my hat's off to Sarah. She is likely to take home some $250,000 or more for today's efforts (see last year's results and winnings) - the approximate cost of two of the engines these cars consume almost as voraciously as tires. Sarah also has the soul of a blogger, as shown in her online diaries for ABC Sports. For more on women drivers at Indy, sashay over here (2002), here (2002) and here (2000). And let's not forget Arie Luyendyk, who at 49 this year is the oldest driver ever to qualify for the race (more here). Arie (unofficially) finished 14th today. The other driver I was pulling for was Eddie Cheever, who had a run at it but then fell back when it looked like something went south with his car. A wreck in the final laps brought things to an anticlimactic and controversial end under a yellow flag, enabling defending champion Helio Castroneves to win and do his signature celebratory fence scramble. [Full coverage via USA Today and The Nando Times] But for the caution, Castroneves would not have crossed the finish with a running engine; the car was so low on fuel his pit crew told ABC it only would have survived half of another green lap.
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