Indy 500 winner Will Power (the two-time IndyCar Champ) has 85,600 followers on Instagram, and that’s with the help of Team Penske’s PR people. Lindsay Brewer, a driver in a feeder series, has 25X that number. Millions of followers. It may have something to do with her bikini shots.

This week, several articles on Brewer were published. But they did not focus on her racing ability, and that’s the issue.

The hype machine was in overdrive. Brewer was called an ‘IndyCar sensation‘ without even competing in the series. The Sun quoted her saying “I’m the world’s sexiest racing driver” which is just outrageous. This poor young woman is going to be such a target for criticism. The same articles that promote her F1 dreams, tear her down by pointing out she’s 19th out of 20 competitors in the USF Pro 2000 series.

Racing takes serious money. Brewer is one of the only female drivers on the Road to Indy racing ladder (USF Junior, USF 2000, USF Pro 2000, Indy NXT, IndyCar Series) and business savvy Brewer built her social media presence to reach millions in the hopes hopes of securing sponsorship and opportunities to climb the racing ladder.

In interviews, Lindsay talks about empowering young women to chase their dreams, but the choice of using sexy pictures to achieve her goals leaves her open to serious criticism. What about young women who have the talent but not cover girl looks? Are they of less value? Perhaps they just don’t deserve to race.

This week, RACER ran a story about Heather Hadley, a 21 year old California girl. She’s been racing karts since age 10, moved on to Legends cars at 14, and now that’s she’s attending university in North Carolina, has decided to make the switch to the Idemitsu Mazda MX-5 Cup after winning a partial season scholarship to the series.

Check out Heather’s website. Not a single bikini picture. No skin-tight Nomex shirt with her racing suit unzipped to the waist. You’ll see a racer. And she has our respect. So, when Heather Hadley goes back to her home state of California to race at Laguna Seca in the MX-5 Cup, Demaras Racing will be cheering for her…but we might also be checking out Brewer’s latest bikini pictures. Life is complicated.

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