Women You Should Know – Janet Guthrie (1938 -)

Janet Guthrie was born in Iowa City, Iowa on March 7, 1938. After completing high school, she attended the University of Michigan where she graduated in 1960 with a Bachelor of Science degree. She began working for Republic Aviation in Farmingdale, New York, as a research and development engineer. Soon after, Janet purchased a Jaguar XK 120â?¢ coupe and began competing in gymkhanas, field trials and hill climbs. Thus began her career in car racing. Guthrie’s brief, yet remarkable career in racing includes earning top-ten starting positions and posting top-ten finishes in both Indy-car Championship racing and NASCAR Winston Cup. Janet Guthrie is the only woman to lead a Winston Cup race. In 1977, she placed sixth in the Winston Cup finish, which still stands as the best finishing position by a woman during the NASCAR era. Her helmet and driving suit are on display in the Smithsonian Institute. Watch for her autobiography entitled “Janet Guthrie: A Life at Full Throttle” to be published May 2005.

Source for additional information:
Janet Guthrie: Racing Legend [web site]. Retrieved May 2, 2005, from http://www.janetguthrie.com