NHRA sends congratulations to Danica Patrick

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NHRA CONGRATULATES PATRICK ON HER INDYCAR SERIES VICTORY GLENDORA, Calif. -- NHRA congratulates Danica Patrick on her recent IndyCar Series victory in Japan, as she joins a long list of NHRA female racers who have won major auto racing events ...

NHRA CONGRATULATES PATRICK ON HER INDYCAR SERIES VICTORY

GLENDORA, Calif. -- NHRA congratulates Danica Patrick on her recent IndyCar Series victory in Japan, as she joins a long list of NHRA female racers who have won major auto racing events dating back to the mid-1970s.

NHRA's first major female winner was Shirley Muldowney, who earned a Top Fuel victory in 1976. She has been followed by eight other women who have won major national events in the 57-year history of NHRA. The most recent, Peggy Llewellyn, became the first black woman to win an NHRA race, claiming the Pro Stock Motorcycle victory in Dallas last October. Angelle Sampey, who competes in Pro Stock Motorcycle, has the most NHRA victories for a woman with 41. Muldowney, who earned 18 NHRA victories in her career, and Sampey each have won three NHRA world championships.

Other women to earn NHRA professional-category victories are Lucille Lee (Top Fuel), Lori Johns (Top Fuel), Shelly Anderson (Top Fuel), Cristen Powell (Top Fuel), Karen Stoffer (Pro Stock Motorcycle) and Melanie Troxel (Top Fuel).

In 1966, Shirley Shahan officially broke the gender barrier in NHRA competition by becoming the first woman to win a national event, claiming a victory in Stock at the Winternationals in Pomona, Calif.

NHRA is the primary sanctioning body for the sport of drag racing in the United States. According to an ESPN Sports Poll, NHRA is the second most popular form of auto racing in the United States.

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Women in NHRA Drag Racing, a brief history:

Female leaders in NHRA victories:

1. Angelle Sampey, Pro Stock Motorcycle, 41 (first at Reading 1996, last at Houston 2007)

2. Shirley Muldowney, Top Fuel, 18 (first at Columbus 1976, last at Phoenix 1989)

3. Karen Stoffer, Pro Stock Motorcycle, 5 (first at Houston 2004, last at Atlanta 2007)

4. Shelly Anderson, Top Fuel, 4 (first at Reading 1993, last at Seattle 1996) Lori Johns, Top Fuel, 4 (first at Pomona 1 1990, last at Memphis 1991)

6. Melanie Troxel, Top Fuel, 3 (first at Pomona 1 2006, last at St. Louis 2007)

7. Lucille Lee, Top Fuel, 1 (Atlanta 1982)

7. Cristen Powell, Top Fuel, 1 (Englishtown 1997)

7. Peggy Llewellyn, Pro Stock Motorcycle, 1 (Dallas 2007)

Female leaders in qualifying:

Angelle Sampey, PSM, 44 (first at Reading 1996, last at Reading 2007)

Shirley Muldowney, TF, 13 (first at Columbus 1976, last at Phoenix 1989)

Melanie Troxel, TF, 3 (first at Bristol 2006, last at Denver 2007)

Lucille Lee, TF, 1 (Denver 1982)

Lori Johns, TF, 1 (Denver 1991)

Shelly Anderson, TF, 1 (Pomona 2 1994)

Cristen Powell, TF, 1 (Seattle 1998)

Erica Enders, PS, 1 (Topeka 2006)

Female series world champions:

Shirley Muldowney, Top Fuel -- 3, 1977, 1980, 1982

Angelle Sampey, Pro Stock Motorcycle -- 3, 2000, 2001, 2002

Women in NHRA Notes:

* Barbara Hamilton was the first female to receive an NHRA license, 1964.

* Shirley Shahan was the first woman to win an NHRA national event, 1966, Stock at the Winternationals, Pomona, Calif.

* Shirley Muldowney was the first woman to get her license in Top Fuel and became the first woman to clock a four-second run, 1989 NHRA Keystone Nationals, Reading, Pa., 4.974 seconds.

* Shirley Muldowney was the first female to advance to a final round in Top Fuel, 1975 at Columbus, Ohio, lost to Marvin Graham.

* Shirley Muldowney was the first female to win in Top Fuel, 1976 at Columbus, Ohio, defeating Bob Edwards; She earned 18 career victories, second all-time for females behind Angelle Sampey (41).

* Shirley Muldowney was the first female to qualify No. 1 in a pro category, 1976 at Columbus, Ohio, with a performance of 6.031 seconds, 229.00 mph.

* Shirley Muldowney was the first driver (either gender) in NHRA history to repeat as Top Fuel champion after her initial title in 1977 ('80 & '82).

* Shirley Muldowney was the only female driver to be included in NHRA's list of top 50 drivers as part of its 50th anniversary celebration in 2001. She was ranked No. 5 on the prestigious list ahead of Kenny Bernstein (No. 6) and Joe Amato (No. 9).

* Shirley Muldowney vs. Lucille Lee was the first and only all-female Top Fuel final in NHRA history, taking place in 1982 at Columbus, Ohio. Muldowney won. Angelle Sampey vs. Karen Stoffer in Pro Stock Motorcycle (Reading 2002) is the only other all female professional final in NHRA history. Sampey won.

* Angelle Sampey is the first female to win a championship in Pro Stock Motorcycle (3 time champ-- 2000, 2001, 2002); Sampey also is the female pro competitor with the most victories, 41.

* Rachelle Splatt was the first female to clock a 300 mph run in NHRA history, posting a speed of 300.00 mph at Houston Raceway Park in 1994. On that run she became the 16th and final member (only female member) of the Slick 50 300-MPH Club.

* Melanie Troxel is the quickest and fastest woman in NHRA history, clocking a time of 4.458 seconds (Oct. '05, Dallas) with a career-best speed of 332.51 mph (Feb. '07, Pomona 1).

* Shelly Anderson is the first and only woman to win the NHRA Top Fuel Shootout, a lucrative bonus event for the quickest Top Fuel competitors. She won in 1994, her only final round appearance in the event, and remains the only female to ever advance to the final for the Shootout. She also is the only female to have ever won an NHRA bonus event.

* Erica Enders is the only female to ever qualify for the K&N Horsepower Challenge, a special bonus event for Pro Stock drivers.

* No female driver has ever won in Funny Car or Pro Stock.

* No female driver has ever qualified No. 1 in Funny Car.

* Erica Enders became the first woman to advance to a final round in Pro Stock at the 2005 Ameriquest Mortgage NHRA Nationals at Route 66 Raceway near Chicago. She defeated Ron Krisher, Mike Edwards and Warren Johnson in early rounds before losing to Jason Line on a red-light start in the final. She advanced to her second career final in March 2006 at Gainesville, Fla., and also posted a runner-up finish, to Tom Martino.

* Ashley Force became the first female driver to advance to a final round in Funny Car at Las Vegas 2 2007; She advanced to her second career final at Houston 2008 and third at Las Vegas 1 2008.

* Erica Enders became the first woman to qualify No. 1 in Pro Stock history at the 2006 O'Reilly NHRA Summer Nationals at Heartland Park Topeka (Kan.).

* Melanie Troxel (TF) and Erica Enders (PS) became the first women to earn No. 1 qualifying positions in pro categories at the same national event (Topeka 2006).

* Lucinda McFarlin, of Victoria, Texas, and Erica Enders, of Houston, are the only female Pro Stock drivers to win a round of eliminations in the 200-mph category. McFarlin defeated Don Beverley in the first round of the 1992 national event at Memphis, Tenn. for her only round win and Enders earned her first round victory by defeating Rickie Smith in the first round of the 2005 Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals at Reading, Pa. Judy Lilly, Shirley Shahan, and Shay Nichols have all qualified fo NHRA events in Pro Stock, but did not win a round of eliminations.

* Women have won back-to-back national events during three seasons -- 1982 when Shirley Muldowney won Top Fuel at Gainesville, Fla. and then Lucille Lee won the next event at Atlanta; in 2004 when Karen Stoffer won Pro Stock Motorcycle at Houston and Angelle Sampey won the following event at Atlanta; and in 2007 when Karen Stoffer won at Gainesville, Angelle Sampey won the following event at Houston and Stoffer won the next event at Atlanta.

* Melanie Troxel (TF) holds the record for most consecutive final round appearances for a woman in a professional category, at six ('05 Pomona 2 - '06 Las Vegas 1).

* Melanie Troxel holds the record for most consecutive final rounds by a Top Fuel driver (any gender) to start a season in NHRA history, at five (2006).

* With her victory at Dallas in 2007, Peggy Llewellyn became the first black female to win in a pro category in NHRA history.

* The most female drivers in professional categories to compete in a single NHRA POWERade Series event is eight, multiple times in 2007 (first at St. Louis). Those women included participants in each of the four pro categories: Melanie Troxel and Hillary Will in Top Fuel; Ashley Force in Funny Car; Erica Enders in Pro Stock; and Angelle Sampey, Karen Stoffer, Peggy Llewellyn and Connie Cohen in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

* The most women to advance to final rounds at a single event is three, accomplished at the ACDelco NHRA Gatornationals in 2006. Angelle Sampey won in PSM, while Melanie Troxel (TF) and Erica Enders (PS) posted runner-up efforts in their categories.

* Eight women have qualified No. 1 in a pro category in NHRA history: Shirley Muldowney, Lucille Lee, Lori Johns, Shelly Anderson, Cristen Powell, Angelle Sampey, Melanie Troxel and Erica Enders. The most No. 1 qualifying positions earned by a female in NHRA history is 44 by Sampey.

* Nine women have won in a pro category in NHRA history: Shirley Muldowney, Lucille Lee, Lori Johns, Shelly Anderson, Cristen Powell, Angelle Sampey, Karen Stoffer, Melanie Troxel and Peggy Llewellyn. The most victories earned by a female in NHRA history is 41 by Sampey.

-credit: nhra

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Series INDYCAR , NHRA