JANET GUTHRIE Biography - Famous Sports men and women


Biography » famous sports men and women » janet guthrie


Name: Janet Guthrie                                                                   
Born: March 7, 1938 Iowa City, Iowa                                                   
Janet Guthrie (born March 7, 1938 in Iowa City, Iowa) is a race car driver and       
the first woman to qualify and compete in both the Indianapolis 500 and the           
Daytona 500.                                                                         
Guthrie was originally an aerospace engineer and after graduating from the           
University of Michigan, she worked with Republic Aviation. She began racing in       
1963 on the SCCA circuit in a Jaguar XK 140 and by 1972, she was racing on a         
full-time basis.                                                                     
In 1976, Guthrie got her first big break in racing, being invited to drive at         
Indianapolis Motor Speedway for team owner Rolla Vollstedt, but failed to             
qualify. The same year, she was invited to compete in NASCAR as well. She             
competed in the 1976 World 600, finishing 15th, becoming the first woman to           
compete in a NASCAR Winston Cup superspeedway race. Guthrie would go on to           
compete in four more races that season. The following season, she competed in         
her first Daytona 500, finishing 12th when her car's engine blew two cylinders       
with ten laps to go. For the race, though, she still earned the honor of Top         
Rookie. Overall, Guthrie went on to compete in 33 races in NASCAR over four           
seasons, finishing as high as sixth place.                                           
Guthrie qualified for and competed in the 1977 Indianapolis 500, but finished 29th   
with engine troubles. She would compete in two more Indy 500s, finishing as high     
as ninth in the 1978 race. Overall, she competed in 11 IndyCar events finishing       
as high as fifth.                                                                     
Nevertheless, Guthrie's place in history was secure. Her helmet and race suit         
can be found in the Smithsonian Institution and Guthrie was one of the first         
elected to the International Women's Sports Hall of Fame. She was inducted into       
the International Motorsports Hall of Fame on April 27, 2006. Her 2005               
autobiography, "Janet Guthrie: A Life at Full Throttle," has received critical       
praise in such publications as Sports Illustrated.