The car Dollar General sponsored in this year’s Indianapolis 500 may have finished 14th, but the retailer’s race team gained notoriety for another reason.
For the first time ever, the pit crew for the Dollar General sponsored Schmidt Peterson Motorsports team contained a female member tire changer. Jessica Mace became the first woman to “go over the wall,” racing parlance used to described those who work on cars when they enter the pit stall, during the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500.
The car she helped service was the number 5 Dollar General car driven by racing icon Jacques Villeneuve. He won the Indianapolis 500 in 1995 and went on to become a champion on the Formula 1 circuit in 1997. This past Sunday, Villeneuve was making his first appearance in the race since winning 19 years ago. He started on the outside of the ninth row in the 27th position and despite circling the track at average speeds of roughly 230 miles an hour the Dollar General was readily identifiable by its bright yellow paint and black letters. Mace and her teammates kept busy keeping fresh rubber on the car as the first 149 laps of the 200 lap race were run before the first caution flag came out. Click here to see what Mace had to say about her role on the team.