Month of May

Meet the women interns behind the racers for the Indy 500

SPEEDWAY, Ind. (WISH) — Women are involved with the Indianapolis 500 through an internship started by PNC and Chip Ganassi Racing.

“I have the coolest internship of anybody I know,” said Jennifer Short.

“My dad started going with some of his friends when I was really young and they all made the rule they’d bring their kids when we turned 10. My dad was an IndyCar fan and we’d have it on the tv and I’d watch with him,” explained Short. “I didn’t follow too closely and then I started going to the Indy 500. I like physics. I liked math. I thought, ‘Oh my God that’s the best way to apply both of those!’”

Chip Ganassi, the owner of Chip Ganassi Racing, said it’s great that more women want to be involved.

“You know it’s the same old thing I say all the time. If you think you can do it, you can,” said Ganassi. “If you don’t think you can do it, you can’t. So if you think you can do it, give us a call.”

The interns will learn from professionals including Anna Chatten, a Chip Ganassi Racing gearbox mechanic.

“I worked my way up thru the ranks. So just like baseball, there’s minor leagues. Motor racing works similar,” said the 22 year veteran. “I think in the past, for myself personally, I always felt privileged to just be included. Now we’re actually here and we are dominating.”

Chatten has paved the way for young ladies like Short who has been used to being the only female in many different activities.

“I remember in 5th grade. I got put in the higher math level math group. It was me and six other boys,” said Short. “I looked at my teacher and I said, ‘I don’t want to be here. I want to be in the lower one with my friend.’ And she looked me in the eye and said, ‘Jennifer, if you’re going to be this smart you need to be used to being the only girl because it’ll happen a lot.’ Now that I know I am a woman and I get to walk down the pit lane and I get to see little girls see me. The first time I walked into a room of all men, it was intimidating, but now they know I have a place here and I know I have a place here.”

For more on the internship, click here.