Janet Guthrie
Janet Guthrie
Category: Open Wheel
CLASS OF: 2021
BORN: March 7, 1938

Trailblazer and record-setter for women in motorsports
First woman to compete in the DAYTONA 500 and Indy 500
First to earn Top 10 starts and finishes in IndyCar and NASCAR
First woman to lead a NASCAR Cup Series race
Scored class wins in sports car events at Sebring 
Off-track, a pilot, flight instructor and aerospace engineer


Guthrie was the first woman to compete in the Indy 500 and DAYTONA 500, paving the way for other women at the top levels of the sport, including Lyn St. James, Sarah Fisher and Danica Patrick. She was also the first woman to earn Top 10 starting positions and finishes in both the IndyCar and NASCAR Cup Series. She finished 9th that Indy in 1978 with a team she formed, owned and managed herself, and a career high 5 that Milwaukee the following year. In NASCAR she was the first woman to lead a Cup race (Ontario, 1977), and is tied with Patrick for highest Cup finish (6th). She scored class wins at Sebring in 1967 and ’70. Off the track, Guthrie was a pilot, flight instructor and aerospace engineer. A charter member of the Women’s Sports Foundation and International Women’s Sports Hall of Fame, she was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2006. Guthrie’s driving suit and helmet are in the Smithsonian Institution.

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