Indianapolis, IN - May 16, 2018
Fuel the Female held the inaugural Fuel the Female Day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway yesterday, May 15th. More than 50 area high school girls came to the track for a day filled with women leading their respective fields in the racing industry as well as learning more about the Verizon IndyCar Series. Most of the girls had never been to IMS, let alone watched an IndyCar race before their visit on Tuesday. Attendees met Cara Adams, Firestone Racing’s chief engineer, who spoke on the different tire compounds, when and why teams choose to use them and her life outside of the track. Adams was later joined by Chip Ganassi Racing’s Kate Gundlach who shared how she came into racing as well as what her job responsibilities include in her role as an engineer for Scott Dixon’s No. 9 Honda.
Fuel the Female Day attendees then made their way to the Firestone Suite where they met Lisa Boggs, Director of Motorsports for Bridgestone Americas. The girls spent some time watching practice and having a Q & A session with Boggs and Fuel the Female Founder, Katie Hargitt. Hargitt explained pit set-ups, engineer stands, tire layouts and other motorsport terminology, like why install laps are important and what the teams are finding out from the car as it’s running around the track. Firestone Racing put out the red carpet for the attendees including lunch and access to track feed in the suite.
After lunch, Danica Patrick came to visit and speak with the attendees on her career as a driver and how racing helped launch her small businesses. Patrick has launched an athletic wear line, Warrior, released a book and has purchased a winery, Somnium. After sharing her story of moving to Europe at 16-years-old to pursue her dreams of competing in motorsports, she opened attendees’ eyes to what they can accomplish if they believe in themselves and pursue their passions. Local Indianapolis media then spoke with attendees on their thoughts so far from the day and what they were learning. Even if they don’t see a career themselves in a motorsports career, the girls were able to take away what they want to do and what they need to do to attain their goals, "They prepare themselves, they work hard for their career and they make it because they worked as hard as they could. They put everything into it. Seeing that, it encourages me to do as much as I can", said Jasmine Cinoco, a Tech High School junior who wants to join the Navy.
The girls final guest in the Firestone Suite was Kate Guerra, Senior Vice President of National Media at IndyCar. Guerra shared her story of being a Texas native and moving to Indianapolis for graduate school, which led her
to falling in love with racing. She explained how her job consists of getting to know the drivers’ personalities to find a fit with media outlets across the country. After speaking, attendees were able to talk one-on-one with Guerra and Boggs for an in-depth look at what it takes to climb the ladder in motorsports.
After a tour of the Pagoda Plaza, participants met Jessica Mace, a mechanic for Andretti Autosport. Mace explained the adversity she received when coming into her career, after making the switch from surveying and development. Mace recalls teammates telling her she shouldn’t even be at the track or in the garage, she was just in the way. Mace even remembers some days she’d go home, cry it out, then come back the next day because she was determined to do what she was passionate about. she Many students connected with her story of adversity and themselves wanted to overcome their own challenges, whether it be academically or athletically.
Fuel the Female would like to thank Indianapolis Public Schools, Firestone Racing, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and the Verizon IndyCar Series for their generosity, hospitality, and support in putting on the first Fuel the Female Day. Fuel the Female is planning to host more events in the future and is currently working on more events on this year’s Verizon IndyCar Series’ calendar. Please subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on social media for more updates. A special thank you to WTHR, FOX 59, the Indianapolis Star, Indianapolis Monthly and other media outlets that came and covered yesterday’s event.
About Fuel the Female Founder, Katie Hargitt
Hargitt currently serves as an NBC Sports IndyCar Pit Reporter, but comes from a decorated career of racing quarter midgets and USAC midgets, working within the ESPN NASCAR community, IndyCar Radio Network and hosting the Up to Speed program for the Verizon IndyCar Series.
For more information about Fuel the Female, sponsorship and partnership opportunities, please visit the organization’s website at www.fuelthefemale.org