Top 10 Female Racing Car Drivers of All Time
Car racing is a highly thrilling sport where people with incredibly strong nerve and great bravery, along with enormous focus. As the racers speed through the tracks in their cars, they are subjected to severe injury at a single slip. Now, when it comes to driving, we place all our faith in men, and it seems to have become a universal truth that women are really poor at driving. Their terrible sense of roads and driving is a standing joke with some people. Well, such people have definitely not heard of the women car racers. Here is the list of Top 10 Female Racing Car Drivers of All Time. Let us take a look at these women and their achievements in this field.
Top 10 Female Racing Car Drivers of All Time
1. Danica Patrick
American auto racing driver Danica Sue Patrick was born on March 25, 1982, and is also renowned as a model and advertising spokeswoman. She is the most successful woman in American open-wheel racing history. Danica’s 2008 Indy Japan 300 win is the only women’s victory in an IndyCar Series. Her third place finish at the 2009 Indianapolis 500 is also the highest finish ever by a female participant. Danica competed on that series from 2005 to 2011, and started competing in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series since 2012. She drove the Number 10 Chevrolet SS sponsored by GoDaddy.com, Aspen Dental and TaxACT for the Stewart-Haas Racing in the Sprint Cup Series in the 2013 season, and became the first female NASCAR driver to win a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pole. Danica also drove for Andretti Autosport from 2007 to 2011.
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2. Sara Christian
Former American auto racing driver Sara W. Christian was there with us from her birth on August 25, 1918 till she died on March 7, 1980. She is the first woman driver in NASCAR history and competed in NASCAR’s first race at Charlotte Speedway on June 19, 1949. Sara achieved the 13th place with her Number 71 Ford, owned by her husband Frank Christian. She competed her second race and finished 18th on July 10, 1949, at the Daytona Beach Road Course. Sara achieved fifth place at the ninth race at Heidelberg Raceway which is the only Top 5 finish by a female driver in the history of NASCAR series. She was honored with the United States Drivers Association Woman Driver of the Year award in 1949. Sara Christian was inducted in the Georgia Automobile Racing Hall of Fame in 2004.
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3. Janet Guthrie
Retired American auto racing driver Janet Guthrie was born on March 7, 1938, and is the first woman to qualify in both the Daytona 500 and Indianapolis 500. She was an aerospace engineer and worked at Republic Aviation and after graduating from the University of Michigan. She made her debut in car race with a Jaguar XK 140 on the SCCA circuit in 1963, and started racing on a full-time basis since 1972. Janet’s sixth place achievement in 1977 at Bristol is the best finish ever by a female driver in a top-tier NASCAR race. She is one of the first elected members of the International Women’s Sports Hall of Fame and was inducted in the Hall of fame on April 27, 2006. Janet’s race suit and helmet can still be found in the Smithsonian Institution. Her autobiography “Janet Guthrie: A Life at Full Throttle” was published in 2005.
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4. Patty Moise
Retired American auto racing driver Patricia Moise-Sawyer was born on December 29, 1960, and is the wife of renowned former NASCAR driver Elton Sawyer. She participated in five Winston Cup races from 1987 to 1989, and later participated in 133 Busch Series races from 1986 to 1998. She started racing at the age of just 16 in the road course races in the IMSA series. Patty was debuted in the Busch Series at Road Atlanta in 1986 where she drove the Number 47 Citgo sponsored Red Roof Inns Buick Regal for Randy Hope. Patty established her own team the Number 37 Red Roof Inns Buick in 1987 and achieved two top-ten finishes in twelve starts. Patty switched to Number 45 Buick sponsored by Amway and Freedom Fuel Additive in 1989. She sold her team to the Michael Waltrip Racing in 1998 and later drove the car having sponsorship from Rhodes Furniture.
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5. Mara Reyes
Mexican female stock car racing driver Mara Reyes was born on March 12, 1977, and participated in the NASCAR Nationwide Series on a limited basis. She made her debut in the racing world as her father´s co-driver at the age of 10 in the Mexico-Cuernavaca Rally. She then officially made her debut as a driver in a regional championship in 1991 at the age of 14 where she drove a tubular VW Beetle. Mara finished in the top 10 in each race at the GT III series in 1993, and achieved an overall 9th place finish in the championship. She was honored with the Sport Merit Award by the Government in Pachuca, Hidalgo. Mara joined the Mustang Series in 1997 where she finished at the fifth place in her first attempt. She is the first Mexican and Latin woman to get a NASCAR license and also the first woman to join a race in the history of first NASCAR.
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6. Shawna Robinson
Retired American stock car racing driver Shawna Robinson was born on November 30, 1964, and participated in all three of NASCAR’s national touring series, the ARCA Racing Series and also in the Goody’s Dash Series. She made her debut in the racing world at the GATR Truck Series in 1984 and achieved rookie of the year award. Shawna made her debut in the NASCAR series in 1988 and again achieved the rookie of the year award at the Dash Series. She was also named Most Popular Driver twice consecutively in 1988 and 1989. Shawna had twenty-one top-ten finishes with three wins in her Dash Series career. She made her comeback while driving the Number 35 for Mike Laughlin in 1993 and participated in 24 races. Shawna was recently diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014.
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7. Tammy Jo Kirk
Retired American racing car and motorcycle racer Tammy Jo Kirk was born on May 6, 1962, and is the first woman to race in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. She later joined the NASCAR to run the Busch Series but not driven since 2003. She started her career as a motorcycles racer at the age of just 9 and achieved the A.M.A. Grand National Championship during her teenage years. Tammy won the Class C flat track race in Knoxville in 1986. She became the first female driver to compete in a Challenge Series when she joined the NASCAR Winston All-American Challenge Series in 1991. Tammy was named the Most Popular Driver in the series in 1994. She made her comeback in NASCAR while driving the Number 49 Advil Ford Taurus for Jay Robinson Racing in 2003 at the Busch Series.
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8. Jennifer Jo Cobb
American auto racing driver and team owner Jennifer Jo Cobb was born on June 12, 1973, and participated in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and the ARCA Racing Series. She currently participates at the latter series in the Number 10 Chevrolet Silverado for her own team called Jennifer Jo Cobb Racing. Jennifer started her career as a race car driver at Lakeside Speedway in 1991 and then made her NASCAR debut in the Busch Series in 2004 at the Homestead-Miami Speedway. She also drove the Built Ford Tough 225 in the Camping World Truck Series on July 19, 2008. After a short break, she again made her comeback in the Camping World Truck Series in 2013. Jennifer created a line of clothing “Driver Boutique” for female race fans in 2006.
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9. Johanna Long
American stock car racing driver Johanna Long was born on May 26, 1992, and currently drives the Number 03 Chevrolet Camaro for Mike Affarano Motorsports in the NASCAR Xfinity Series on a limited basis. She is noted as the winner of the 2010 Snowball Derby. She started racing karts when she was just eight years old. Johanna made her transition into NASCAR in 2009 while driving several reputed series such as ASA Late Model Series, Pro Late Model and ARCA Series. She achieved five wins, 17 top five finishes and 27 top ten finishes in 38 events. Johanna also drove the family-owned No. 20 Toyota in the Camping World Truck Series in 2011. Recently Mike Affarano Racing announced on January 28, 2015, that she will drive for them in the Number 03 Chevrolet Camaro in the Xfinity Series.
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10. Tina Gordon
American NASCAR racing driver Tina Gordon was born on March 14, 1969, and is also known as the spokesperson for the Sticks ‘N’ Stuff furniture chain. She made her debut in the racing car world with her husband Gary’s short track stock car at the Green Valley Speedway in 1995, and won all six events that she entered. Tina made her debut in the NASCAR All-Pro Series in 1999 and achieved 20th position in touring truck series. She made her debut in ARCA at the Food World 300 in the Talladega Superspeedway on October 20, 2001, where she drove Number 22 Ford sponsored by Sticks ‘N’ Stuff Furniture. Tina with her husband Gary established a therapeutic camp for disabled children and adults called the Tina’s Dream Ranch.
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Car racing is one of those fields that are considered to belong to men. In this male-dominated field of sport, these women racers, and many more, have established themselves and proven themselves to be excellent racers, with nerves of steel.