February 06, 2010
While Danica Patrick grabs all of the headlines for today's ARCA race, there are actually four other female drivers in the field. No, really, it's true.
Of course, if it wasn't for this blog post, you may not know that, because none of the other drivers has the credentials -- or anything close to the marketability -- that Patrick does, and with the exception of Patrick and Alli Owens, none of them have a snowball's chance of winning today. Still, the Lucas Oil SlickMist 200 boasts the most female drivers in a single national stock car event, and that itself is pretty impressive.
Most famous for being a moving chicane in the IndyCar Series, Milka Duno is also dipping her toes in the stock car waters. The Venezuelan had to take a provisional to get into the field, so in a stunning resemblance to her IndyCar career, she'll be a nonfactor unless she gets caught up in a crash.
However, Duno will probably have some competition to be the first female driver in the garage. Jennifer Jo Cobb also had to take a provisional to get in the field, and her signature stock car moment is crashing into Denny Hamlin under caution during a Nationwide race at Kansas Speedway. Cobb is attempting to run the full season in the Camping World Truck Series, but that's totally dependent on funding, and you know how those situations tend to resolve themselves.
Leilani Munter also has some open wheel experience, having raced in the Indy Pro Series in 2007. Like Danica, Munter has posed for FHM, and she's part of the "sweetest team in racing," as you can see above. She's also an ambassador for the National Wildlife Federation, and could be a dark horse for a top 15 finish.
There's also Jill George, who carries the distinction of being both a chiropractor and race-car driver. She reached a sponsorship agreement just days before the race.
If Danica won't be the top-finishing female, it could be Alli Owens. Owens has competed in the ARCA Series since 2008 and has steadily improved. She will be competing full time this year and is driving for Venturini Motorsports, one of the best teams in ARCA. Owens could reach victory lane for the first time in 2010 and will have one of the best cars in the field today. But if Owens finishes fourth, and Patrick finishes fifth, you can bet where the cameras will be.
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