Janet Guthrie

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Janet Guthrie
JanetGuthrie.jpg
Born (1938-03-07) March 7, 1938 (age 76)
Iowa City, Iowa
Awards 2006 International Motorsports Hall of Fame Inductee
1980 International Women's Sports Hall of Fame Inductee
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career
33 race(s) run over 4 year(s)
Best champ.
finish
6th - 1977 Spring Bristol race
First race 1976 World 600 (Charlotte)
Last race 1980 Coca-Cola 500 (Pocono)
Wins Top tens Poles
0 5 0
Statistics current as of March 14, 2007.
Janet Guthrie's Wildcat 3-DGS, which she drove to ninth place in the 1978 Indianapolis 500.

Janet Guthrie (born March 7, 1938, in Iowa City, Iowa) is a retired professional race car driver and the first woman to qualify and compete in both the Indianapolis 500 and the Daytona 500.

Guthrie was originally an aerospace engineer and after graduating from the University of Michigan, she worked with Republic Aviation. She began racing in 1963 on the SCCA circuit in a Jaguar XK 140 and by 1972, she was racing on a full-time basis.

In the 1976 World 600, Guthrie finished 15th, becoming the first woman to compete in a NASCAR Winston Cup superspeedway race. Guthrie would go on to compete in four more races that season. The following season, she competed in her first Daytona 500, finishing 12th when her car's engine blew two cylinders with ten laps to go. For the race, though, she still earned the honor of Top Rookie. Overall, Guthrie went on to compete in 33 races in NASCAR over four seasons.[1] Her highest finish, sixth place at Bristol in 1977, is the best finish by a woman in a top-tier NASCAR race.[1]

Guthrie qualified for and competed in the 1977 Indianapolis 500, but finished 29th with engine troubles. She would compete in two more Indy 500s, finishing as high as ninth in the 1978 race. Overall, she competed in 11 IndyCar events finishing as high as fifth. During her unsuccessful bid to qualify for the 1976 race, many of the drivers in the male dominated sport stated that the only reason she did not qualify was mainly due to her gender. These comments angered then three-time champion A.J. Foyt to the point he had Guthrie perform a four lap timed practice around the Indianapolis track using his back up car. Had she been qualifying, she would've done so in ninth. This prompted Foyt to state that the only reason Guthrie did not qualify was due to the lack of funds for her team, and not because of her gender.

Nevertheless, Guthrie's place in history was secure. Her helmet and race suit can be found in the Smithsonian Institution and Guthrie was one of the first elected to the International Women's Sports Hall of Fame. She was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame on April 27, 2006. Her 2005 autobiography, Janet Guthrie: A Life at Full Throttle, has received critical praise in such publications as Sports Illustrated.

Motorsports career results[edit]

NASCAR[edit]

(key) (Bold - Pole position awarded by qualifying time. Italics - Pole position earned by points standings or practice time. * – Most laps led.)

Winston Cup Series[edit]

Indy 500 results[edit]

Year Chassis Engine Start Finish
1976 Coyote Foyt No qualifying attempt
1977 Lightning Offy 26th 29th
1978 Wildcat DGS 15th 9th
1979 Lola Cosworth 14th 34th
1980 Lightning Cosworth Did not qualify

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b McGee, Ryan (February 20, 2013). "Janet Guthrie outraced insults to make history". ESPN W. ESPN. Retrieved February 24, 2013. 

External links[edit]