The Month of May

Editor's Notebook, June 2000



T.W. Theodore

The Month of May brought increased national interest in women race car drivers. Sarah Fisher, a Thunder Valley Racing featured driver and a Driver of the Month last year, was one of the major stories at the Indianapolis 500. Sarah has told me that she is not interested in being thought of as a 'woman driver' but simply as a very good race car driver. I hope that, someday, that will be possible.


Lyn St. James has certainly paid her dues as a race car driver. Her accomplishments are numerous and her courage and skill are not to be denied. She is a race car driver of real note. But, when she and Sarah touched going in to Turn One at Indy and they both hit the wall, the story was that the two 'women drivers' took each other out. (Never mind the crazy pass attempt by one of the Laziers on the inside.)


two 'women drivers'...

My wife, Susan, and I had been looking forward to this Indy 500, the first time we'd been interested in it for a few years. Montoya and Vasser were in it. Unser was in it. The IRL/CART feud was being played out. But, most important, two women drivers that we celebrate at Thunder Valley were in it: the oldest and the youngest drivers in the field; the wily veteran and the rookie; the long-time media curiosity and the new media darling; the well-funded team member and the scrambler; the biggest name among women in racing and the newest name among women in racing.


At the end of the race, we still had Montoya and Vasser, but I was concerned about the potential fallout from the 'two women' moment. There are more than forty women drivers featured at Thunder Valley. There are more than eighty women drivers and others who are in our discussion group. There are countless more women drivers we have not yet met who participate with joy, with confidence, with determination, and with great skill and courage, at all levels of racing around the world. It is my hope that they will all benefit from the high level of interest in 'women drivers' that race fans demonstrated this past May.


One Lap reports...

On another note: I'd like to call your attention to the marathon road race, the Michelin Car and Driver One Lap of America, that is chronicled in three Race Reports in this issue of Distant Thunder. Terri Hundertmark drove that marathon for the second year in a row and provides us with detailed coverage. It's a long read. It was a long race, covering a full week of driving. Terri had a great time and I think you'll share her joy as you read the reports.


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