Whereas the numbers of girls within the motorsport discipline have been slowly rising for many years, racing stays a predominately male-dominated sphere — however imagine it or not, one all-woman pit crew really helped lead their driver to an ARCA inventory automobile championship again in 1987. Invoice Venturini and the All-Blue Crew made historical past again within the day, serving to pave the trail for future girls to tackle the motorsport world.
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Venturini made a reputation for himself within the ARCA inventory automobile circuit with a profession that kicked off along with his debut in 1982 and ended after he retired in 1996 — although he did compete in a handful of NASCAR-sanctioned races in all three collection.
A part of the inspiration for the Extremely Blue Crew got here from Venturini’s spouse Cathy, who was there for Invoice all through his total racing profession. When the crew wanted a serving to hand, Cathy Venturini wasn’t afraid to assist out nonetheless she may. Then, because the couple have been touring for a race, the thought of an all-female crew turned fascinating from a advertising perspective, in response to the ARCA web site:
In 1982, Invoice and Cathy Venturini traveled to Daytona Worldwide Speedway for the primary time to compete with the ARCA Menards Sequence. It was throughout their lengthy drive residence from Daytona when the thought for what would finally change into the Extremely Blue Crew got here into focus.
“It was an 18-hour drive; we had lots to speak about,” Invoice Venturini mentioned. “I mentioned to her, ‘You recognize, we’ve received to determine find out how to get a sponsor.’ However there’s a thousand guys racing in Florida within the month of February. Why would anyone need to spend the cash with us when there’s so many different individuals?
“There are a boatload of a proficient drivers racing. So how do you get cash for you for those who’re simply pretty much as good as them? You’ve received to do one thing that’ll make anyone need to spend some cash with you.”
The dialog quickly shifted to Cathy Venturini’s hands-on involvement with the workforce.
“We began speaking, and since she was so concerned, we made the remark, ‘Effectively, perhaps we will have an all-female pit crew,’” Invoice Venturini mentioned. “That’s the way it began.”
You possibly can try a fantastic abstract video beneath, put collectively by NASCAR:
The preliminary seek for an all-female crew didn’t go as deliberate, however by the tip of 1982, a gaggle of girls have been capable of apply pit stops and make advertising appearances as they honed their expertise. The Venturinis put the thought on the backburner for some time, unable to pay that many ladies — till Sports activities Illustrated confirmed curiosity in writing a function on the all-woman crew. Venturini discovered a sponsor — Permatex — to assist fund the enterprise’s second go. It was in that second effort that Venturini and the Extremely Blue Crew secured the 1987 ARCA Championship.
You possibly can try the video above or learn this unbelievable story on ARCA’s web site for extra info on his historic crew. Merely put, although, Venturini and his Extremely Blue Crew helped flip the tides for girls within the inventory automobile world — and for girls in motorsport basically.