Danica could face glass ceiling in NASCAR

Updated: November 5, 2009, 2:23 PM ET
By Ryan McGee

On Wednesday, we broke the news of Danica Patrick's 2010 NASCAR plans.

Almost immediately I started getting questions about the history of female competitors in stock car racing's top three series -- Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Trucks.

After some digging, I can see why people have so many questions. Finding information about women in NASCAR is almost as difficult as, well, finding women in NASCAR. It wasn't so long ago that the official NASCAR media guides included a "Female Competitors" section. The Cup Series book actually boasts about the 13 different women who have raced in the sport's biggest league. But as more time has passed since Shawna Robinson made her final Cup start in 2002, those sections began to mysteriously vanish.

Why do I suspect that Danica's arrival will probably bring that section back?

Anyway, as we celebrate (or, as some of you have made very clear, bemoan) Mrs. Patrick's 2010 arrival, here's a banzai lap look at the history of women behind the wheel in NASCAR.