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History made at IMS: Simona De Silvestro and female-dominated team qualify for Indy 500

This is the first time a female driver and female owner have qualified for the Indianapolis 500 together.
Credit: AP
Simona De Silvestro of Switzerland hugs a member of her crew after making the field during the last row qualifications for the Indianapolis 500 auto race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Sunday, May 23, 2021. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

INDIANAPOLIS — History was made at Indianapolis Motor Speedway Sunday when Simona De Silvestro and her female-dominated team qualified for the Indianapolis 500. This is the first time a female driver and female owner have qualified for the Indianapolis 500 together. 

Simona De Silvestro will be able to take another shot at the Indy 500, and this time she'll be doing it with Peretta Autosport, a mostly female-run operation with 70 percent of the race team made up by women.

RELATED: Simona De Silvestro getting back on track to qualify for Indy 500

The majority-female team promotes STEM education and seeks to be role models for young women everywhere to work hard and follow their dreams.

It was a long road for the team to get through qualifying. Four months ago, CEO and team owner Beth Paretta announced her goal to qualify for this year's Indy 500 with a female-forward team and message. 

RELATED: Simona de Silvestro aims for return to Indy 500 with team of women behind her

De Silvestro made that dream a reality Sunday during a dramatic final qualifying effort. It was the team's last chance to qualify. They had one shot at making the race and they didn't disappoint. 

De Silvestro was on “the bubble” in the 33rd position after her four-lap day two qualifying run that averaged 228.353. 

Two of the cars that had slower times opted to make a second qualifying effort, which left De Silvestro waiting patiently in her cockpit while the clock ticked down. Neither was able to bump her off the final row for the 33-car grid.

De Silvestro is a Switzerland native who has been dubbed the "Iron Maiden." She has now qualified every one of the six attempts she’s had at Indianapolis, the first being in 2010 when she was the Rookie of the Year.  

De Silvestro will be in the 33rd spot in the lineup during the race. Leading the pack will be Scott Dixon, who won his fourth Indianapolis 500 pole by a mere 0.03 seconds in qualifying. Colton Herta and Rinus VeeKay will be in the first row with Dixon.

RELATED: Dixon claims pole position for Indy 500

The second row will be comprised of Ed Carpenter (4th), Tony Kanaan (5th) and Alex Palou (6th). The third row consists of Ryan Hunter-Reay (7th), Helio Castroneves (8th) and Marcus Ericsson (9th).

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