Louise Smith

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Louise Smith
Louise Smith.png
Born(1916-07-31)July 31, 1916
Barnesville, Georgia, United States
DiedApril 15, 2006(2006-04-15) (aged 89)
Cause of deathCancer
AwardsInternational Motorsports Hall of Fame (1999)

Member of the "Living Legends" Racing Club in Daytona Beach
Member of "The Old Timer's" Racing Club in Archdale, North Carolina

Georgia Automobile Racing Hall of Fame
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career
11 races run over 3 years
Best finish63rd (1949)
First race1949 (Daytona Beach)
Last race1952 (Morristown)
Wins Top tens Poles
0 0 0

Louise Smith (July 31, 1916 in Barnesville, Georgia – April 15, 2006) was tied for the second woman to race in NASCAR at the top level. She was known as "the first lady of racing."[1]

She went as a spectator to her first NASCAR race at the Daytona Beach Road Course in 1949. She could not stand watching the races, so she entered her family's shiny new Ford coupe in the race and rolled it. Her hometown Greenville, South Carolina paper featured photos of the wreck, and the town knew about it before she got home.[2] The race was the first race to feature three female drivers (Ethel Mobley and Sara Christian). The trio also competed later that season at the Langley Speedway.

She raced from 1949 to 1956. She won 38 races in her career in numerous formats: late models, modifieds (28 victories), midgets, and sportsman.

Car owner[edit]

She returned in 1971 as a car owner for numerous drivers. She sponsored Ronnie Thomas' Rookie of the Year attempt in 1978.


She became the first woman inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1999.

Motorsports career results[edit]


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

Grand National Series[edit]


  • Fearless: The Story of Racing Legend Louise Smith (Dutton Books for Children) by Barb Rosenstock, 2010.


External links[edit]