It was Memorial Day week-end, and something I've .enjoyed for many years, is to watch the Indianapolis 500 race on television. I'm not, necessarily, a racing fan, but I live in Albuquerque, New Mexico, which is home to the Unser family of racers, who have won the Indy 500 nine times between them. Four victories for Al Unser, Sr. who is tied with A.J. Foyt and Rick Mears; 3 victories for his brother Bobby Unser and 2 victories for Al Unser, Jr. Because of this, I have watched the race and pulled for the Unser family to win the race!
There has always been a woman in the race for the past several years, and that's the way it should be. If a woman and her team can qualify, give her the wheel. But, this year was different at the Indy 500! All 33 drivers in the field were women...that's right...an all woman field!
I watched on television, as so many other racing fans did across the country...and I couldn't believe my eyes. I must have looked like "a tree full of owls," as 33 women drivers would compete! All the pit crews for the lady drivers were all women, too...and the throng of 300,000 fans in the stands were all women; the broadcasters were all women; the peanut girl; the popcorn girl; security...all women! "What's going on here?" I asked myself. "Are women taking over the world?" There was not a single man in sight!
My eyes were glued to the television set, as I couldn't imagine 33 "women drivers," at the Indy 500...all doing more than 200 miles an hour! I didn't want to look...but I had to! Nothing like this had ever happened before, so I went to the newspaper to read more about the race, and to get the starting line-up. One of the headlines in the sports page read, "Record speed set at Indianapolis 500 of 287.5 mph! WOW! These ladies are serious! As I read the article on the race, the starting line-up went like this:
Row 1: (pole) Robyn Hood * Gail Simmons * Penny Arcade
Row 2; * Honey Buns * Candice Piper * Ginger Snapps
Row 3; * April Showers * Tiffiny Holbrooke * Savannah Georgia
Row 4; * Kandy Barr * Heidi Smith * Madison Avenue
Row 5; * Crystal Bahl * Carmen Sanchez * Rose Budde
Row 6; * Sparkle Plenty * Jane Doe * Sara Leigh
Row 7; * Misty Moonlight * Gloria Campos * Carole Carroll
Row 8; * Bunny Hoppe * Susan SuranWrap * Candy Cane
Row 9; * Heather Stratton * Mia Culpa * Georgia Onmymind
Row 10; * Kelli Kelly; * Tootsie Rolle * Bette Krocker
Row 11; Brooke Trout * Pinky Luzinski * Billie Goat
THE ANNOUNCER OF THE RACE CALLS OUT...
"LADIES...START YOUR ENGINES..."
Laying rubber and smoke everywhere...these women meant business, as the race go started! Thirty-three women race car drivers...all in one place, doing over 200 miles an hour! I was sacred to death that something awful was going to happen! After all, this had never happened before, and I had to look away at the start! But, as the race started and progressed, the women were doing pretty good! They didn't drive like the "men drivers," and there were no accidents...and everything ran smoothly for the entire race!
I think this was as much a fashion show as a race. Only one black car in the race...the awsome "Black Widow" car...and the driver dressed in purple from head to toe! WOW! The "Silver Bullet" car, trimmed in pink; the "Diamonds Are Forever," car; the most colorful car in the race was the "Shop 'Till You Drop," car. And, my favorite car was the car with the biscuits and melted butter painted all over it...and good enough to eat...the incredible "Pillsbury DoughGirl" car! (yum...yum!)
There was no advertising on these cars for oil companies; car parts; gasoline companies, etc. Advertisers and sponsors included: shopping malls; diamond/jewelry companies; cosmetic companies; pickle/ice cream companies; hair coloring companies; flower shops; candy companies; shopping catalog companies and over half the cars were sponsored by credit card companies! Amazing!
A look down Powder Puff Alley (formerly Gasolene Alley), with the tremoundous amount of color at the race...all the colorful flowers; balloons...pink, lavender and aqua blue everywhere! All the teams were dressed in their own colorful uniforms! WOW...what a sight!
Smoke and tire marks all over the race track, as the race went on, and on for over three hours, and finally, the last lap...and it boiled down to a race between Kandy Barr and Susan SuranWrap. This was a fight to the finish...they were neck and neck turning the fourth corner and coming down the straightaway and to the finish line! One driver would take the lead...and then the other...back and forth they went...the crowd was going wild! Down the stretch they came, as they were new side by side, almost touching wheels...as they both s-c-r-e-a-m-e-d past the finish line in a cloud of blue smoke and a photo-finish! The screaming crowd was loving it!
Three hundred thousand women, were on their feet rooting them on, and by a few tenths of a second...the 87th running of the Indianapolis 500 race was won by ...Susan SuranWrap...who took the pink and white checkered flag! People in the stands were jumping up and down; screaming and yelling and going crazy...what a day...what a race!
A drive to the winner's circle, was unusual because the traditional black and white winners flag/markings were gone, and replaced with pink and white
markings...trimmed with a splash of lavender. Gone, too, was the traditional drink of milk for the winner, as it would now be replaced with champagne. On her win, Susan SuranWrap popped the cork...and sprayed everyone around her with the bubbly! High fives for everyone as she accepted the winning trophy! Finishing at a distant third was Kitty Litter...and Robyn Hood, and Sparkle Plenty rounded out the top five!
Sleepy-eyed, and looking through glassy and tired eyes, the clock read 2:30 in the morning...the room was spinning around...I'm at a race someplace...women are taking over the world...tossing and turning all night long! I couldn't get to sleep all night long...why am I at the Indy 500 race...scary...an all-women field...my head was spinning out of control! Unsure of where I was, and with sweat on the brow...I sat up in bed...looked around in a daze! Happily, I was at home and I sure was releived that it was only a BAD DREAM!