Janet Guthrie named to Motorsports HoF

JANET GUTHRIE TO ENTER INTERNATIONAL MOTORSPORTS HALL OF FAME Janet Guthrie, the first woman to compete in the Indianapolis 500 and in the Daytona 500, will be inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame on Thursday, April 27, at...

JANET GUTHRIE TO ENTER INTERNATIONAL MOTORSPORTS HALL OF FAME

Janet Guthrie, the first woman to compete in the Indianapolis 500 and in the Daytona 500, will be inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame on Thursday, April 27, at the Speed Channel Dome in the Hall of Fame in Talladega, Alabama. About 1500 guests are expected to attend the black-tie event. It will be broadcast by the Speed Channel on May 1, at 10 pm Eastern.

Guthrie will be inducted in a class that includes the late seven-time NASCAR champion Dale Earnhardt, NASCAR driver Harry Gant, team owner Jack Roush, and promoter Humpy Wheeler. "This is really a great and unexpected honor," she says.

Guthrie's recent autobiography, "Janet Guthrie: A Life at Full Throttle" (Sport Classic Books, 2005, $24.95), was described by Sports Illustrated as "an uplifting work that is one of the best books ever written about racing." [Note: the full review is attached.] In it, she recounts her early life as a pilot and aerospace engineer, her beginnings in sports car racing, and her rise to the top levels of motorsports: Indy cars and NASCAR Winston Cup (now Nextel Cup).

"In writing this book," Guthrie says, "I wanted to put the reader inside a driver's mind, to make the reader feel viscerally what it's like to go through the turns at the limit of adhesion, and to pass other drivers at over 200 mph. I wanted to convey the sport's passion and complexity to people who may know little or nothing about it. And of course, there are some entertaining tales about my adventures as the first woman to earn a starting spot at the top levels of the sport."

Guthrie's ninth-place finish in the 1978 Indianapolis 500, with a team she formed and managed herself, was the highest by a woman until 2005. In her total of 11 Indy-car races, her 5th-place finish at Milwaukee and her 4th-place qualifying run at Pocono in 1979 were the best by a woman for more than 20 years. In her 33 NASCAR Cup races, she was Top Rookie at the Daytona 500 and four other races in 1977. Her 6th-place Cup finish at Bristol remains the best by a woman in NASCAR Cup's superspeedway era. She placed among the top dozen in ten Cup races. She led the Cup race at Ontario, CA, in 1977. Earlier, she had 13 years of experience in sports car racing, including two first-in-class finishes in the Sebring 12-Hour International Manufacturer's Championship race.

"Janet Guthrie: A Life at Full Throttle" is available through bookstores such as Barnes & Noble and on line at amazon.com. Autographed copies are available through her website, www.janetguthrie.com, which contains excerpts from the book as well as other data from her career.

-wl-

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Series Automotive
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Janet Guthrie , Harry Gant