Stock car racing team makes history, starts 3 female drivers


NEWTON, Iowa >> Stock car racing team Venturini Motorsports has had a tradition ‘ three female drivers in the same race for the first time in the modern era of the sport.

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NEWTON, Iowa >> Stock car racing team Venturini Motorsports has had a tradition of employing women that stretches back for decades.

On June 29, the ARCA outfit made history — starting three female drivers in the same race for the first time in the modern era of the sport.

Neither Natalie Decker, Leilani Münter nor Toni Breidinger made a push for the podium, finishing 12th, 18th and 20th respectively at Chicagoland Speedway. But simply by starting as a trio, they helped raise the profile of women in a sport long dominated by men.

“We’re not trying to bill ourselves as this team that is championing female drivers by any means. It just so happens that we’ve had a number of females come through,” team spokesman Tom Venturini said. “We’re a championship-caliber team. We’re putting the best drivers in the seat, male or female.”

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Stock car racing team makes history, starts 3 female drivers

VMS’ push to use women as both crew members and drivers came long before recently retired Cup series driver Danica Patrick set foot on a race track.

Team owner Bill Venturini won Automobile Racing Club of America titles in 1987 and 1991, the first coming with an all-female pit crew ‘ known as the “Ultra Blue Crew” ‘ led by his wife and team co-owner Cathy Venturini.

“When that happened, the whole idea of it was, ‘we’re competitors first.’ It was not a publicity stunt,” Tom Venturini said. “We had the best physically fit women to do that job. They outperformed the men. It really just happened to be that they were women on the crew.”

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  • Date: 2018-06-26T08:37:08-04:00
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