Our coronavirus coverage is free for the first 24 hours. Find the latest information at Please consider subscribing or donating.

  1. Archive

Women on different Indy paths

For the first time at the Indianapolis 500, two women are on the starting grid.

Nineteen-year-old Sarah Fisher will start 19th after qualifying at 220.237 mph. Lyn St. James, 53, earned the 32nd of 33 spots at 218.826.

"I just wanted to be in the race," St. James said. "What Sarah is doing has no pressure on my deal, to be my best and drive my best. I've been racing for 26 yers, as one who loves the sport. I am proud of Sarah Fisher. She came up the right way. She realized she had to go fast. But not all fast drivers come to Indy."

Said Fisher: "Once I got on the track, I was in the same zone I was all week (during practice), that is to run very consistent laps and laps that are fast. So it's a matter of going out there and doing what you know how to do."

And asking someone to show you how to do it better. Last week, Al Unser Sr., an Indy Racing driving coach, drove Fisher around the speedway in a pace car, showing her the proper racing line.

"When you tell her something, she goes out on the track and tries to make it happen," Unser said. "If she can't do it, she tells you that too."

St. James, the second woman (after Janet Guthrie) to race at Indy, qualified in a backup car after crashing her primary on Saturday.

"The last two years of not making it, it tore me up inside," said St. James, who will make her seventh Indy 500 start. "It was the strongest test I've had in knowing who Lyn St. James is. I'm happy and pleased to be where I am."

SHOW WILL GO ON: That was what Lowe's Motor Speedway president H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler said in the aftermath of Saturday night's collapse of a pedestrian bridge after The Winston.

Qualifying for the Coca-Cola 600 is Wednesday. About 170,000 are expected for Sunday night's race in Concord, N.C.

"We've got a lot of people, many of whom are already here, who we've already made commitments to," Wheeler said. "That's not taking anything away from our concern for those who were injured."

State engineers on Monday ordered a second walkway closed until they learn why the first collapsed, injuring 107 people.

The Associated Press reported the state inspected the walkway as it was being built in 1995 and signed off on it while also recommending the use of stronger concrete sections. The speedway did not heed the warning, though the sections that were used met federal and state guidelines.

Engineers believe corrosion caused the collapse, and said Monday that weight was not a likely factor.

PASSING FANCY: Formula One driver Michael Schumacher was feeling so good after winning the European Grand Prix in Nuerburgring, Germany, he wasn't even upset about a brush of wheels at the start with rival Mika Hakkinen.

As the race started, Hakkinen roared from third to first and bumped Schumacher.

"It was probably unnecessary, but I think he knows that himself," said Schumacher, who has won four of six races this season.

Hakkinen saw it another way.

"It was very close to perfect," he said of the pass. "It was perfect, actually. I knew that was the only chance and knew what I had to do."

MORE BUMPIN': Steve Park was so mad after hitting the Turn 1 wall during The Winston, he went to Joe Nemechek's hauler to discuss it.

Nemechek bumped Park on Lap 63 of 70, precipitating Park's spin. That seemed like payback for Park's nudge of Nemechek a lap earlier.

"Me and Joe are friends," Park told NASCAR Online. "I just wanted to clarify what happened. I just thought it was uncalled for. It wasn't even a heated discussion. It was just a discussion."

BE PREPARED: The Federal Emergency Management Agency has put its Project Impact logo on the roof of Kenny Irwin's Winston Cup car. Project Impact is a program that encourages homeowners to reinforce their houses to prepare for hurricanes and other disasters.

_ Information from other news organizations was used in this report.