Shawna Robinson ready for another Daytona run in the 44th Annual Pepsi 400. DAYTONA BEACH, Fla Â¯ (April 9, 2002) -- In February, Shawna Robinson became the first woman to start the Daytona 500 since Janet Guthrie in 1980. On July 6, Robinson...
Shawna Robinson ready for another Daytona run in the 44th Annual Pepsi 400.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla ¯ (April 9, 2002) -- In February, Shawna Robinson became the first woman to start the Daytona 500 since Janet Guthrie in 1980.
On July 6, Robinson hopes to be the first woman to start in the Pepsi 400 since 1989, when Patty Moise started 35th and finished 39th.
After finishing 24th in the season-opening Daytona 500, Robinson is looking forward to her second race at the "World Center of Racing" in the 44th annual Pepsi 400 on July 6.
But an added bonus to her first Pepsi 400 start is that it'll also be her first night race at the famed 2.5-mile tri-oval.
"It's going to be a new experience for me driving under the lights anywhere," said Robinson, who wheels the No. 49 BAM Racing Dodge. "I'm excited about it, especially being Daytona. It's going to be a lot cooler. It will be a lot better for all the drivers under that situation and it'll make it good for the fans."
Qualifying for February's Daytona 500 was no easy chore for Robinson and BAM Racing, who were lacking sponsorship funds and didn't have any provisionals to fall back on.
The only way Robinson was going to crack the field for the "Great American Race" was to either finish in the top 14 (not including the pole sitter) in her Gatorade 125-mile qualifier or have a fast enough qualifying speed to land one of the six remaining starting spots.
Robinson, a native of Des Moines, Iowa, got caught up in an accident during her qualifier, but did have a fast enough speed to earn a spot in the 43-car field.
She completed 187 of the 200 laps and garnered a top-25 finish. She also gained plenty of experience, which she hopes will parlay into a better finish in the Pepsi 400.
"If we don't improve mid-year and on, then we're not doing what we need to be doing," Robinson said. "At the beginning of the year, it's all about team and driver growth. Mid-season on we should really be showing results from where we started. When we go back in July, we should be better than February."
Tickets for the Pepsi 400 are available online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling the Speedway ticket office at (386) 253-7223.