Race Weekend Central

‘I Need Redemption’ – Katherine Legge Plans to Resolve Unfinished Business at Indianapolis

SPEEDWAY, Ind. – Katherine Legge‘s No. 51 Dale Coyne Racing with RWR Honda lasted only 24 laps in the 2024 Indianapolis 500. It was one of what became a succession of engine failures for Honda throughout the weather-delayed race.

It was also her second straight DNF after a decade-long layoff attempted open wheel’s biggest oval race. However, Legge is already determined to come back to the Brickyard and make things right, both for herself and for her fans.

“I know that I can’t end on this note,” the 43-year-old Legge told Frontstretch as she left her pit box after retiring. “I keep coming back. I need redemption. So that’s my plan, I’ll be back.”

Legge’s entry into this year’s 500 was notably sponsored by e.l.f. Cosmetics, a major beauty brand based in Oakland, Calif. Legge’s stock in the 500 has risen over the last year as 2024 looked to be her shot at redemption.

Driving the fourth Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing car in the 2023 500, Legge out-qualified her three full-time teammates, making herself the only RLL driver to lock into the race without having to face the trials of last chance qualifying. However, an early spin during pit stops ended Legge’s day and placed her No. 44 Honda as the last-place finisher.

This year, Legge again arrived at Indianapolis Motor Speedway as a one-off entry, albeit driving for a new team with a new sponsor. However, she made her presence known after getting forced to make a gutsy run in last chance qualifying. A little bounce off the wall at 227 miles per hour never hurt anyone as Legge locked herself in the field, starting the 500 in 31st.

Frontstretch‘s Christopher DeHarde caught up with Legge after the session, where she described her decision to keep the throttle planted while bouncing off the wall as “what any sensible person would do.”

Legge returned to the Speedway in 2024 with not only an aim to improve upon last year’s result, but with the backing of e.l.f., looking to do more than just perform on the track.

“e.l.f. is truly changing the face of motorsports by lifting women up and challenging norms,” Legge had said in her April press release with Dale Coyne Racing. “When I was nine years old, I decided I wanted to be a race car driver, and I never would have dreamed a beauty brand would one day be my primary sponsor in the Indy 500. Together with DCR, Honda, and e.l.f., we will truly empower women who are breaking barriers, pushing boundaries, and testing the limits by giving them the confidence and a path towards realizing their dreams, whatever they may be!ā€

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Unfortunately, Legge’s motor had other plans, part of a plethora of early exits during an unusually high attrition rate for this year’s 500.

That said, upon exiting her smoking car in the pits at Indianapolis, it was immediately apparent Legge had made more than a few fans in the Month of May. After taking a moment to rehydrate and speak to NBC, the British driver went straight to the fence and began signing autographs and taking pictures with an enthusiastic crowd which had amassed behind her pit box.

“Honestly, it’s mind-blowingly awesome,” Legge told Frontstretch regarding her reception by the fans.

“It’s incredible what e.l.f. have done this year for women in sports, as you can hear. It’s really special!”

Though all sights now seem to be set on a 2025 campaign, it remains to be seen which branding will be on the car in terms of engine, team or sponsorship. When asked if she could share details her plans for next season, Legge was succinct.

“No,” she said. “We don’t have any yet.”

Nonetheless, she is determined to embark on Indy 500 attempt number five in 2025, offering only one word when asked if she was committed to next year despite not having concrete plans:

“Absolutely.”

Follow Alex Gintz on X @AlexGintz1

About the author

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Alex is the IndyCar Content Director at Frontstretch, having initially joined as an entry-level contributor in 2021. He also serves as Managing Director of The Asia Cable, a publication focused on the international affairs and politics of the Asia-Pacific region which he co-founded in 2023. With previous experience in China, Japan and Poland, Alex is particularly passionate about the international realm of motorsport and the politics that make the wheels turn - literally - behind the scenes.

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