Cars, Is It Really a Boy Thing?
Auto racing is a sport dominated by men, but why are women thought about as safer drivers by insurance companies. It seems a little ironic when you consider those familiar with auto insurance can tell you women generally are safer drivers who qualify for cheap insurance rates because men simply have more accidents than women. But no matter where women qualify when it comes to insurance, they still have to qualify on the track to make it in racing.
One woman who has no problem qualifying on the track is Danica Patrick. She first gained notoriety as an Indy car racer who began racing in the IRL Indy Car Series in 2005. She was the fourth woman to reach this achievement and gained the highest starting position ever attained by a woman in her very first race. She would eventually become the first woman to lead at the Indianapolis 500 and later the first woman to win the pole position in a race. She has recently announced she will now be dedicating her time fully to NASCAR.
Ashley Force-Hood is the daughter of John Force, a man who won the National Hot Rod Association Funny Car national championship 15 times. That is a pretty impressive act to follow, but Force-Hood has had no problem. Like Danica Patrick, she has done well at Indianapolis, becoming the first woman to win a Funny Car race at the racing mecca. She was also the first woman to lead in points during a season in 2008 and finished the season in second place in 2009, the highest finish ever for a woman.
Of course, you cannot discuss women race car drivers without mentioning Janet Guthier. Being the first woman to race in the Daytona 500 was not enough for Guthier; she had to compete in the Indianapolis 500 that same year, solidifying her place in racing history. Not surprisingly, she was named Top Rookie that year by NASCAR.
Being able to buy cheap car insurance is little consolation to a young woman whose heart is set on racing. Auto insurance not withstanding, women have few advantages when it comes to the world of automobiles. The female racers will have to work hard to gain equality in this male dominated sport, but eventually they will have their day. Until then, at least they can save a few bucks on their insurance!