Move over, Danica. The IndyCar Series' original female star will indeed make a return to the series at the next round of competition to be held at the Kentucky Speedway. Sarah Fisher, now 25 and out of IndyCar racing since 2004, will fill the seat held formerly by Buddy Lazier at Dreyer & Reinbold Racing for at least for the upcoming event.
"I am really looking forward to the opportunity to get back into an IndyCar," Fisher commented. "It has been some time and there is a lot of catching up to do. Hopefully, it will be like riding a bike, but I am sure that there will be challenges we will have to figure out how to hurdle. This weekend is all about getting back on the bike. It's a personal goal of mine to at least run in the top 10."
Fisher's last IndyCar series start was a one-off drive for Kelley Racing in the 2004 Indianapolis 500. She left the series full-time after 2003, when also driving for DRR, and posted a career-best finish of second at Homestead-Miami Speedway in 2001.
She has a great history at Kentucky. The inaugural year of the Indy Racing League's event, in 2000, she finished in a strong third position. In 2002 she became the first female driver to score a pole position for a major open wheel race, lapping the Sparta oval at a track record speed of 221.390 mph.
In the last couple of seasons Fisher has participated in NASCAR West Series competition under the Richard Childress Racing developmental program. A deal had been rumored for her return to the IRL at Michigan International Speedway but it fell through.
"It's very exciting to have Sarah back in the car at Kentucky Speedway," team co-owner Dennis Reinbold said. "We believe that it is a very good track for her, and with the momentum our team has been building, a good result is what we are looking forward to. It's always a pleasure working with Sarah, and this time will be no different." The team's best result this year is 3rd, delivered by Briscoe at Watkins Glen.
"The announcement that Sarah will be joining our 'Meijer Indy 300 Presented by Coca-Cola and Secret' field is terrific news," Kentucky Speedway Executive Vice President and General Manager Mark F. Cassis said. "She is a great competitor and her past success at our speedway will certainly place her in a position to do well. I think she'll find our track has matured since her last visit and she'll have a lot of room to race. Besides the obvious connection to Danica Patrick, I believe our fans will be intrigued to watch Sarah race an Indy car after running stock cars the past couple of years."
Having both Fisher and Danica Patrick on the track marks the first time in IndyCar Series history two women will be competing in the same event.