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CART team crosses picket line in 2000 Indy 500

CART team crosses picket line in 2000 Indy 500
CART team crosses picket line in 2000 Indy 500
Posted at 5:31 PM, May 12, 2016

INDIANAPOLIS -- Y2K, the year 2000: The New Year rang in with much to look forward to in Indianapolis.

The city and basketball fans geared up for the first season of the Indiana Fever in the WNBA. The team acquired a familiar name in the expansion draft in Purdue grad Stephanie White. White led the team to the National Championship the prior year.

At the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, preparations continued to host a Formula One race for the first time in September of 2000: The U.S. Grand Prix. 

Construction continued through May when the marquee race of the year, the Indianapolis 500, also hit a milestone: Lyn St.James and Sarah Fisher  marked the first time in history two women made the field.

Both women exited the race early when they crashed into each other.

It would be the last 500 for St. James, but the first for the 19-year-old Fisher.

An even bigger headline was that a CART team crossed over to drive in the 500 for the first time since the "split" four years prior.

Juan Pablo Montoya on Chip Ganassi's team was considered a "rookie" despite being the reigning CART champ. 

Montoya dominated the race, leading 167 laps, and driving to his first 500 win with an average speed of 167.607 miles per hour.

Montoya was also named Rookie of the Year, but he was certainly no novice driver. He would leave for Formula One at the end of the year.

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