Milka Duno, 37-years-old, is widely known for her accomplishment as the first Latina to race in the Indy 500 (2007). In 1996, she was invited to a race car driving clinic and hasn’t braked since.
“I love to compete, but it’s difficult to describe why you race,” Milka said. “You’re in a car at 225 mph; something must be wrong with you to do that. It’s difficult for me to explain. I know I like tough challenges, and I like to strive for my goals.”
Off the track, Milka hopes to make an even bigger statement. She travels to schools, elementary to college, and speaks on the importance of education. She tries to hit at least one school in each city she travels to, some days she visits up to three.
According to ESPN: In 2009 she was named “Hottest IndyCar Driver” in a MetroMix.com poll of Indianapolis fans, nominated for a Univision Youth Award, and received a National Hispanic Woman of the Year award from the Los Angeles-based Mexican American Opportunity Foundation. She has a voice role as Kellie “Gearbox” Kalinkov in the animated movie “Speed Racer,” which was released in 2008, and she’s been on the covers of numerous fashion magazines in Latin America.
She’s also in the Latin American Sports Hall of Fame. In May 2009, her autobiographical children’s book, “Go, Milka, Go!” won Best Young Adult Sports/Recreation Book at the International Latino Book Fair in New York. A few months ago she traveled to Malaysia as a keynote speaker for International Women’s Day and hours later was off to Brazil to start the racing season.