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July 7, 1964 |
|NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career|
|1 race(s) run over 1 year(s)|
|Best finish||101st – 1990|
|First race||1990 GM Goodwrench 500 (Rockingham)|
|Last race||1990 GM Goodwrench 500 (Rockingham)|
Terri Leigh O'Connell (born July 7, 1964) is a former motorsports racing champion, artist, author, and fashion model. Her autobiography, Dangerous Curves, was published in 2008.
Terri O'Connell (born J.T. Hayes) won national championships in go-kart, midget car and sprint car competitions across the country. She rose to compete in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series; driving the #91 Crossroads City of Corinth Ford Thunderbird for Donlavey Racing in 1990 at North Carolina Motor Speedway, now known as Rockingham Speedway. Terri amassed over 500 career victories throughout her career.
O'Connell was born with gender identity disorder and never psychologically felt like a man. She had sex reassignment surgery in 1994 following a near-fatal 1991 motor accident. "I was trapped upside down, engine throttle stuck, fuel running all over the racetrack and me. The accident didn't scare me, but the thought that I hadn't lived life to its full potential just ran chill bumps up and down my body." She legally changed her name from J. T. Hayes to Terri O'Connell.
O'Connell, a former model, also created the first apparel company for the female race fan called "Speedsters" in 1995. She also owns an Apparel/Art Company, "Dangerous Curves Society". In 2011, O'Connell began racing again as part of an all female driving team headed up by Dick Barbour Racing of Atlanta, Georgia.
Motorsports career results
(key) (Bold - Pole position awarded by qualifying time. Italics - Pole position earned by points standings or practice time. * – Most laps led.)
Winston Cup Series
|NASCAR Winston Cup Series results|
- Rosenberg, Debra. "(Rethinking) Gender." Newsweek. 21 May 2007: 106-109. Print.
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