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,"
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
"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.