The fourth woman of Indy - Dario's Wife
Three of the fastest women in motorsports left Kansas Speedway in April to kick off the Indianapolis 500: Milka, Sarah and Danica. But when Dario Franchitti pulled into Victory Lane as the new Indy 500 Champion, a fourth woman stole the limelight from the ladies - his wife, Ashley Judd.
When the race was called on lap 166 with Dario in the lead, Ashley danced barefoot down pit road to greet her husband with a victory smooch. Ignoring her rain-soaked hair and dress, she followed the team and new champion into Victory Lane, beaming with pride. Rather than answer questions about her upcoming movie Bug, she insisted the interview focus remained on Dario's big win.
As a Hollywood actress, Ashley is familiar with playing the supporting role; something she demonstrates alongside her husband each race weekend. Whether in the pits and garage at Kansas Speedway, or Victory Lane at the Indy 500, she stays close by to learn the ins and outs of Dario's career.
"It's been amazing what I've been able to learn from the crews being so nice and letting me hang around the garage and ask questions," said Ashley. "That's how I've been able to learn so much more about racing. There's so much science, so much intellectual process and thought that goes into it."
Dario is one of four teammates with the Andretti Green Racing powerhouse, and is typically recognized for his marriage to Judd. Between 20-year-old Marco Andretti, past IndyCar Series Champion Tony Kanaan, and Danicamania, Dario often falls into the shadows as the self-proclaimed "invisible man" of the team.
"We kind of flew under the radar all month - all year, actually, I think," Franchitti said.
With a new title as the 2007 Indianapolis 500 Champion, the man of mystery can step out of the shadows of the rest of his team and as the husband of Ashley Judd.
Catch the celebrities of the IndyCar Series and NASCAR! Buy tickets for the September 2007 and April 2008 race weekends, available today. Call 866.460.RACE for tickets today.