Janet Guthrie

Aspen CO

Janet began racing in SCCA in 1963 in her 1956 Jaguar XK140MC. While working as an engineer in the aerospace industry, she finished 6th overall in the Jag in the first Watkins Glen 500 (1964), powered by the first engine she ever built herself. First in class in the Sebring 12-Hour in 1967 (GT6) and 1970 (Under 2-Liter Prototype). In 1977, she became the first woman to earn a starting spot in the Indianapolis 500, and also in the Daytona 500, where she finished 12th and Top Rookie. In a career total of 33 NASCAR Cup races, her best finish of 6th (Bristol, 1977) and matched by Danica Patrick (Atlanta, 2014) is the best by women drivers in the superspeedway era. In 1978, she finished 9th in the Indianapolis 500 with a team she formed, owned and managed herself. Her best finish in a career total of 11 Indy-car Championship races was 5th (Milwaukee, 1979). She earned top-10 starting positions and posted top-10 finishes in both Indy-car Championship races and NASCAR Cup races. She is a member of the International Motorsports Hall of Fame, the Sports Car Club of America Hall of Fame and was recently inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame and the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America. Her helmet and driver’s suit are in the Smithsonian. Her own book “Janet Guthrie: A Life at Full Throttle” (2005) was described by Sports Illustrated as “an uplifting work that is one of the best books ever written about racing.”

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