First woman on Indy 500-winning team hopes to continue hot streak at Music City Grand Prix

Published: Aug. 5, 2022 at 6:53 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - The driver who won last year’s inaugural Music City Grand Prix is on a hot streak.

Marcus Ericsson is riding high from winning the Indy 500 back in May, and he’s back in Nashville this weekend to defend his victory.

On Thursday, WSMV’s Lauren Lowrey spoke with the woman who was on the winning team who made that Indy 500 win happen and as she prepares for Sunday’s race in Nashville.

Angela Ashmore is an engineer on the No. 8 car – the one Ericsson has been winning in. In May, Ashmore became the first woman ever on a winning Indy 500 team. Her role as an assistant engineer is crucial. As part of her job, she writes math channels to measure how the car burns fuel.

“So, there’s basically a computer on the car that collects data,” Ashmore said. “Hundreds of sensors all over the car that measure everything you can imagine. They come across as voltages and you need to turn that voltage into a load – how many pounds of load is on this push rod or drop link – stuff like that.”

During race-day, Ashmore’s main role is fuel strategy, including fuel windows, when they’re going to run out and if they need to save fuel to adjust their windows; what kind of mileage they need to be hitting; if they’re trying to make it a lap further.

During a stop, she’s the person who helps fuel the car in a matter of six-seconds, which is three gallons a second.

Six-time IndyCar series winner Scott Dixon works with Ashmore in Ganassi racing. Dixon has noticed the difference Ashmore and other women have brought to the team and what it has meant for girls everywhere.

“I’m a girl dad,” Dixon said. “I’ve got a 10 and a 13-year old and just to have them make comments at the Indianapolis 500, which is our biggest race to say, ‘who are these women on the team (and) on the stand?’ They’re working closely in some of the most difficult portions of what we do.’”

Ashmore has made such an impact, the team chartered a “Women in Motorsports” internship program this summer with PNC Bank, where they brought on five women to help propel the team in engineering and information technology, or IT.

Two women are continuing on full time.

“Women bring a unique perspective to those problems,” Ashmore said. “It’s important to have those viewpoints.

For tickets, and to view the full schedule of events, visit the Music City Grand Prix website

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