A New Look!
Editor's Notebook, February 1997
The Thunder Valley Racing web site has a new look just in time for the 1997 racing season. It's going to be a banner year for us and for women in racing!
Our first Driver of the Month for 1997 is the new SCCA Sports 2000 National Champion and only the second woman to win a Gold Medal at the SCCA Valvoline Runoffs. Check out Andrea's bio and race images elsewhere in Distant Thunder.
Women Driver Update
Thunder Valley's very first Driver of the Month, Jennifer Tumminelli, is the latest addition to the PPG Pace Car Team. Look for her at IndyCar (sorry, CART) races this Summer. Jennifer will also, of course, compete in a full season of Formula Mazda races on the West Coast. (Unless her PPG Team duties conflict.)
Thunder Valley's featured driver, Margie Smith-Haas, the first woman Champion in the American City Racing League and a long-time member of the PPG Team, has become an official CART pace car driver. You'll see her leading the cars to the starting line and picking up the leader at yellow flags. She's especially excited about going to Surfer's Paradise for the Australian race.
Lisa Devlin, our racing Chiropractor and diary correspondent, has a full season planned. Christine Karns is stepping up in class and looking for good strong finishes this year. Suzi Blume, Dawn Vranas, Terry MacDonald-Cadieux, Kat Teasdale, are all back again this year. Sarah Kavanagh has an exciting deal in the works. More on their schedules when the news becomes available.
Tammy Jo Kirk is the first woman to compete in NASCAR's Craftsman Truck Series. Tammy is a five-year veteran of NASCAR's Slim Jim All Pro Series. She'll be driving for Geoff Bodine Racing under Lovable (bra) sponsorship. We wish her great success!
We'd like to thank Brenda Janish, a freelance graphic artist in Chicago, for the great new graphic look for the Thunder Valley Racing web site. Brenda's creative energy has made the site come alive. Look for a link to her own web site on Thunder Valley Racing's home page.
IRL at Indy
Finally, I know some of you like watching the IRL's version of Indy car racing. I found the opening Mickey Mouse 200 of mild interest as well. This low-price, spec-formula race series featuring American-style oval racing is a welcome complement to the Toyota Atlantic series, the FF2000 series, and other American formula car series that run on ovals as well as road courses.
The idea, though, that these IRL cars will be running at INDY really distresses me. Time was when the Indianapolis 500 was open to anyone with courage, technical knowledge, skill, determination, and, most of all, the ability to dream great dreams.
Cost was a factor, but the guy with the first winged car, the team that mounted a turbine next to the driver, the guys who fiddled with four-wheel drive to improve cornering, the discount-store king who fought the good fight with stock-block Buicks, all took on the monied teams and, sometimes, beat them! Each one of them added to Indy's lore and improved racing.
Time was, Indy was for giants. This year, Indy will celebrate mediocrity.