Katherine Legge Hits Wall But Refuses to Lift in Indy 500 Qualifying

katherine legge 51 practices for the 2024 indy 500 at
Legge Doesn't Lift After Wall Kiss in Indy QualsSOPA Images - Getty Images

Katherine Legge hit the wall after she momentarily lost control on her first qualifying run Saturday afternoon but straightened up to finish her final lap in an attempt to qualify for her fourth Indy 500.

Going into turn four, Legge mistakingly went high and was sucked toward the middle of the corner, kissing the wall with her e.l.f. Cosmetics sponsored No. 51 Dallara-Honda. In no way was Legge about to lose any additional time after the late blunder, as she was flat-out through the final corner.

Legge lost around 0.7 MPH on her final lap, bringing her average down to 230.244. The first three laps average was 230.415, which would have placed her around five spots closer to the front if the average carried through.


I was coming to the checkers." Legge told NBC Sports, "I thought that I would stay in it as we literally kissed the wall; I did that especially for e.l.f."

Legge's ability to add levity to a harsh reality while shouting out her one-of-one sponsor is a major plus for authentic brand engagement.

Legge partnership with e.l.f. presumably marks the first time a cosmetics brand has been a primary sponsor of an Indy 500 entry. A sign of the continued shift in motorsports to market to their large female fan base.

When this partnership was announced at the start of April, the brand explained their decision to join the motorsports space with Dale Coyne Racing because of Katherine's driving force of 'positivity, inclusivity, and accessibility.'

"It was terrifying, honestly." Legge continued, "We have some work to do. We don't have the speed, but we are going in the right direction, and hopefully, we can get it fixed. Sorry to the guys. They have a bit of work to do, but we'll probably have to try again later."

With 33 qualifying spots available and 34 drivers, Legge's 4-lap average of 230.44 currently sits at 25th of 27 cars qualified, on top of Gramah Rahal and her teammate and race rookie Nolan Siegal.

Once all drivers have cycled through their first attempts, Legge will take a second shot at a better Indy 500 starting position; last year, she started 29th in her best qualifying attempt before ultimately finishing last.

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