At just 34-years-old, Sarah Fisher is entering her eighth season as an IndyCar team owner, has been awarded “Indy’s Best & Brightest Leaders Under 40” and was voted “Most Popular Driver” four times in two separate series (IndyCar and NASCAR). She is the first woman to win the pole position for a major North American open-wheel event, the fastest woman to ever qualify for the Indanapolis 500 and holds the record for the most starts for a woman at the 500-mile race the with nine. Fisher and her husband Andy live on the southside of Indianapolis with their children Zoey and Danny.
Biography and Career Highlights
As a child, Sarah Fisher’s parents would take her to racetracks to watch her father drive sprint cars. Her first racing experience came as a five-year-old when her parents fitted her for her first racecar – a quarter midget. She raced quarter midgets and go karts until she was a teenager, winning the 1991, 1993 and 1994 World Karting Association National Championships, the 1993 Circleville Points Championship and the 1994 WKA Grand National Championship.
By the time she was 15, Fisher was racing Winged Outlaw Sprint cars and won the Dirt Track Racing Round-Up Rookie of the Year. In 1997, she was named to the 62-race All-Stars Circuit of Champions series, earning a second place finish at Eldora Speedway.
In 1998, Fisher raced in ARCA, NAMARS and USAC sanctioned events, a competitive schedule that helped prepare her for the next step in her career. She also competed in the Knoxville Nationals, an annual sprint car event featuring over one hundred cars from thirty states that is often described as the “Indy of sprint car racing.”
Sarah raced all throughout high school, graduating from Teays High School in 1999 with a 4.178 grade point average. The same year, at only 19-years-old, Sarah made her IndyCar debut at Texas Motor Speedway for Walker Racing. She also broke the track record at historic Winchester Speedway and won five USAC midget races.
In 2000, Sarah moved to the IndyCar Series full time. That year, she became the third and youngest woman to compete in the Indianapolis 500. To date, she still holds the record as the fastest woman to ever qualify for the Indianapolis 500 with a four-lap average 229.439 mph.
At Kentucky Speedway in 2002, Fisher became the first woman to win a pole position for a major open-wheel event. For three years in a row, from 2001 to 2003, Sarah was voted most popular driver by the fans of IndyCar.
Fisher debuted in the NASCAR West Series in 2004. She continued in the series in 2005, where she was again awarded Most Popular Driver. She returned to IndyCar for two events in 2006 and a full season in 2007.
2008 saw the creation of Sarah Fisher Racing, making Fisher the youngest and only female team owner in the IndyCar Series. She drove three races in the team’s first season, doubling that amount in 2009. SFR entered 11 of 17 races in 2010, with Fisher driving in seven. Her final Indianapolis 500 appearance also came that year, giving her a total of nine – the most starts by a woman in the history of the race.
Fisher announced plans of retirement following the 2010 season and named Ed Carpenter as her replacement. Her first win as a team owner came at the end of the 2011 season, less than three weeks after she gave birth to her daughter. At the end of the 2011 season, Fisher announced a partnership with Kansas businessman Wink Hartman to create Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing. Fisher remains a co-owner of CFH Racing, competing for the first time in 2015 from the unified teams of SFHR and Ed Carpenter Racing.
In early 2015, Fisher returned to the cockpit to compete in the Chili Bowl Nationals. The annual sprint car event in Tulsa, Okla. featured a lineup of over 325 drivers.
Throughout her career, Fisher has been a guest or profiled on a variety of television programs including The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Live with Regis and Kelly, Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw, Good Morning America and CBS This Morning. She has also appeared in the pages of People, Teen People, Cosmo Girl, Seventeen, Glamour, Mademoiselle, Sports Illustrated and many other magazines. Fisher has also been the subject of features stories in USA Today, The Washington Post, New York Post, and other major U.S. newspapers.
Outside of racing, Fisher is a member of the National Women’s Business Council, which serves as an advisory panel to the US President and Congress on economic issues important to women business owners. She has also been awarded “Indy’s Best & Brightest Leaders Under 40,” “PWM, Team Principle of the Year” and “March of Dimes, Mother of the Year.”
Fisher and her husband Andy O’Gara makes their home on the southside of Indianapolis with their children Zoey, born in September 2011, and Danny, born in June 2014. Sarah and Andy enjoy their time off by the pool and attending Kyle O’Gara’s (brother-in-law to Fisher) USAC races.
Top 5 Finishes: 2
Top 10 Finishes: 8
Laps Led: 49
First Start: 10/17/99 (Texas)
First Pole: 8/11/02 (Kentucky)
Last Race: 10/2/10 (Homestead-Miami)
• Competed in Chili Bowl Nationals in Tulsa, Okla.
• Won first race as a team owner with Ed Carpenter at Kentucky Speedway
• Competed as a driver/team owner for Sarah Fisher Racing in 7 of 17 IZOD IndyCar Series races
• Led 10 laps
• Announced plans of retirement from IndyCar driving following season finale
• Competed in 6 of 17 IndyCar Series races
• Highest finish of 12th at Kentucky Speedway.
• Founded Sarah Fisher Racing
• Made 3 IndyCar starts as a driver/team owner at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Kentucky Speedway and Chicagoland Speedway
• Driving for Dreyer and Reinbold Racing
• Collected a pair of top-10 finishes in the IndyCar Series.
• Made two starts in the IndyCar Series with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
• Highest finishing position of 12th.
• Second season in the NASCAR West Series driving for Bill Maropulos
• Finished in the top-10 four times
• Highest qualifying efforts came at Evergreen Speedway and Thunder Hill Raceway, where she started third
• Voted the most popular driver in the NASCAR West Series in 2005
• Debut in the NASCAR West Series in 2004 at Phoenix International Raceway starting 14th and finishing 21st after problems with her car’s battery.
• She also competed in the Indianapolis 500, finishing 21st.
• Running full time in the IndyCar Series for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing in 2003, highest starting position was 2nd at Richmond International Raceway.
• Finished 18th in overall driver point standings.
• For the third consecutive year, voted the most popular driver in the IndyCar Series
• Scored first career pole in the IndyCar Series in 2002 at Kentucky Speedway
• Led 30 laps throughout 10 starts driving for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
• Finished in the top-10 three times
• For the second year in a row, voted the most popular driver by IndyCar fans
• Finished 2nd at Homestead-Miami Speedway, the highest finish at that time for a female driver in a major open-wheel series.
• Driving for Walker Racing, made 13 starts and finished 19th in driver point standings.
• Voted the most popular driver by IndyCar fans.
• First full-time IndyCar season,
• Season-high finish of third at Kentucky Speedway
• Led nine laps on her way to finishing 18th in driver point standings
• At only 19-years-old, made first IndyCar start at Texas Motor Speedway
• Broke midget track record at historic Winchester Speedway
• Won 5 USAC midget races.
• Raced midget in ARCA, NAMARS and USAC-sanctioned events
• Competed in famous Knoxville Nationals sprint car race.
• Won the Dirt Track Racing Round-Up Rookie of the Year Award driving a sprint car
• Won the World Karting Association Grand National Championship
• Won the World Karting Association Grand National Championships and Circleville Points Championship
• Won the World Karting Association Grand National Championship