Pioneering race car driver Janet Guthrie – the first woman to compete at the Indianapolis 500 and in NASCAR – received the second annual “Spirit Of Competition” Award from the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Presenting the award was David Donohue, winner of the 2009 Daytona 24 Hours, and son of the late Mark Donohue. Guthrie joins inaugural honoree Mario Andretti in being a “Spirit of Competition” Award recipient.
Before becoming the first woman ever to compete in the Indianapolis 500 and the Daytona 500, Janet Guthrie was a pilot, flight instructor, and an aerospace engineer – a modern day Amelia Earhart. In 1977, she became the first woman to qualify for and compete in the Indianapolis 500. That same year she was also the first woman and Top Rookie at the Daytona 500. She finished ninth in the Indianapolis 500 in 1978. Janet Guthrie was one of the first athletes named to the Women’s Sports Hall of Fame, and her driver’s suit and helmet are on display at the Smithsonian Institution.
IN HER HAYDAY
top photo from Simeone Foundation Museum
bottom photo from Guthrie Racing LLC
edited text from Simeone Foundation Museum
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