Girl Power

Posted on: May 20, 2010 | Comments(7) | Drivers, Indy 500 | By: Emily

Girl power is the name of the game, or in this case the race.

There are a record five female drivers entered in the Indianapolis 500, and a handful of women work behind the scenes for teams and manufacturers in the IZOD IndyCar Series.

Anna Chatten, a gearbox technician for KV Racing Technology, is one with occasionally greasy hands.

Working on the gearbox

Anna Chatten at work

On May 30, she’ll also have the honor of being the second female as part of an over-the-wall crew in the Indianapolis 500. She’s the airjack operator for the No. 32 car driven by Mario Moraes. The first woman to work over the wall was Anita Millican, who held the vent hose for driver Larry Dickson in the 1981 and 1982 Indianapolis 500 Mile Races.

Chatten, of Peoria, Ill., relayed that she entered this male-dominated sport mainly due to her father’s influence.

“When I was a little girl, he went go-cart racing and I’m sure my mom said take her with you because she’s in my way for the day,” Chatten said as she assembled the multitude of parts into a gearbox for Paul Tracy’s car. “I saw all the little boys doing it and I thought, ‘Well, that looks fun. I’d like to try it.’

“When I turned 18 I realized I wanted to have a job I liked so I decided to give this a shot. I went to a mechanic school in northern California, spent two years doing that and worked my way up through the ranks.”

I thought being one of the few women to work in such a challenging and demanding environment was inspiring, but Chatten said: “I’ve been here 10 years, I don’t really think too much on it. I’ve never done anything but this. But I don’t think I’d be happy doing anything else.”


There are 7 comments for this post.

  1. kelly on May 20, 2010 8:11 pm

    She’s an inspiration to all girls… I really wish her all the best she really deserves to be recognized for her work =)

  2. Dan Moschenross on May 20, 2010 8:43 pm
    Dan Moschenross

    I would like to give thanks to all the women, past and present, that are taking part in all forms of motorsports. It shows great determanation on all parts, to be part of this wonderful sport!

  3. Barbara RAIFSNIDER on May 20, 2010 10:41 pm
    Barbara RAIFSNIDER

    Good for you,Anna Chatten. I love working on Dirt Sprint Cars. Should have persude mechanical stuff as my trade. Love helping out on cars whenever I have a chance.
    Good Luck to Sarah and all the other Ladies invloved in the Indy 500!

  4. Hunter on May 21, 2010 5:58 am

    Would you mind taking a look at my car? Just kidding. Good luck to you and your team this year.

  5. Rob Klyver on May 22, 2010 11:14 am
    Rob Klyver

    Its students like Anna that make the hard years of operating a racing school worth the effort! Best of luck for you and the team! …-rob

  6. Larry Stofer on September 10, 2011 2:31 pm
    Larry Stofer

    This author is sooo famous! her work is def top notch

  7. Larry Stofer on September 10, 2011 2:32 pm
    Larry Stofer

    Great article little miss “rising intern” you have so much potential

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