Female NASCAR Drivers

updated on 8-17-2014

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  • Patrick records best Talladega finish for female: Three female drivers have competed at Talladega in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Janet Guthrie (3 races), Patty Moise (1 race) and Danica Patrick (now 3 races). Before Patrick finished 22nd on Sunday. Guthrie's finish of 29th in August of 1978 was the best finish at Talladega by a female driver. Patrick had finished 33rd in both 2013 Talladega starts. Patrick also lead the race twice for 6 laps, becoming the first female driver to lead a lap at Talladega in a Sprint Cup race.(5-5-2014)

  • Guthrie congratulates Patrick on Daytona pole: Danica Patrick has found more than the success that eluded Janet Guthrie in her brief NASCAR stint. Patrick also has the acceptance in the garage that Guthrie never did. Guthrie struggled in an era when women were still viewed in stock car racing as unwanted outsiders. Guthrie, the first woman to race in NASCAR's Coca-Cola 600 in 1976, received an icy reception from the sport's biggest drivers as she tried to build her career. It was in stark contrast to the scene on pit road moments after Patrick clinched her Daytona 500 pole - with a hug from Tony Stewart and a handshake from Jeff Gordon Guthrie congratulated Patrick on Sunday for becoming the first woman to win the top spot for any race in NASCAR's top circuit. But Guthrie was more proud of the way NASCAR's attitude toward women has evolved over the last 30 years. Guthrie was heartened at seeing a women succeed in a man's world. "It took time for that attitude to change, but it did change," Guthrie told The Associated Press by phone Sunday. "That was one of my biggest pleasures was seeing that attitude change." Guthrie was the previous best female qualifier in a Cup race. She started ninth at Bristol and Talladega in 1977. She was the first woman to drive in the Indianapolis 500 in 1977, that same year she became the first to run in the Daytona 500. A ninth-place finish at Indy in 1978 stood as the best by a woman until Patrick finished fourth in 2005, then third in 2009. "I'm ancient history," Guthrie said, from Colorado. "It's about time my little record got broken."(see full article at the Associated Press)(2-18-2013)

  • Danica Patrick Becomes First Female Pole Winner In NASCAR Sprint Cup History: #10-Danica Patrick made NASCAR history today during Coors Light Pole qualifying for the Daytona 500, becoming the first female driver to win a pole at NASCAR's top level - the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. During qualifying for the sport's marquee event, Patrick turned a lap of 196.434 mph (45.817 seconds), giving her the first starting position for next Sunday's Daytona 500. It was the fastest Daytona 500 pole-winning speed since 1990. Patrick shattered the previous record for top starting spot by a female NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver. Janet Guthrie previously held the mark, twice starting ninth in 1977. She started ninth at Talladega Superspeedway on Aug. 7, 1977 and at Bristol Motor Speedway on Aug. 28, 1977. The previous best starting position for a female in the Daytona 500 was 18th by Janet Guthrie in 1980.
    This is Patrick's second NASCAR pole, also winning the Coors Light Pole for the season-opening NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Daytona last season. The only other female to win a NASCAR national series pole was Shawna Robinson in a NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in 1994. Already a NASCAR record holder, Patrick set the mark of best finish by a female driver in NASCAR national series history when she finished fourth in a NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 2011. She finished 10th in the final 2012 NASCAR Nationwide points standings, the top finish by a female in NASCAR national series history. Patrick, who is running for the 2013 Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award, is the first rookie to win the Daytona 500 pole since Jimmie Johnson in 2002.(NASCAR)(2-17-2013)

  • Patrick wins Daytona 500 pole: #10-Danica Patrick won the pole for the Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway with a speed of 196.925mph. Patrick is the first female driver to win a pole in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series history. #24-Gordon won the outside pole and will start 2nd next Sunday. #21-Bayne was 3rd fastest, followed by #38-Newman, #14-Stewart, #5-Kahne, #11-Hamlin, #18-Busch, #22-Logano and #20-Kenseth.
    #10-Partick (pole) and #24-Gordon (outside pole) are locked in their starting spots. Eleven other drivers are locked into the Daytona 500 field: , #21-Bayne (speed), #39-Newman (speed), #14-Stewart (speed), #5-Kahne (speed), #2-Keselowski (owners points/provisional), #15-Bowyer (op/prov), #48-Johnson (op/prov), #16-Biffle (op/prov), #11-Hamlin (op/prov), #17-Stenhouse Jr. (op/prov), and #78-Kurt Busch (past champions provisional). If any of those eleven race their way into the Daytona 500 [finishing 16th of better in their Duel], other drivers will be eligible to make the race on speed, owners points or past champions provisional.
    See qualifying results and how drivers will start in the Budweiser Duel on the 2013 Budweiser Duel page.(2-17-2013)

  • Danica Patrick wins Nationwide pole at Daytona: #7-Danica Patrick captured the first pole of her NASCAR career during Nationwide Series qualifying for Saturday's DRIVE4COPD 300 at Daytona International Speedway. Patrick posted a 182.741 mph lap, making her the second woman in the history of the Nationwide Series to start on the pole and the first to win a NASCAR pole at Daytona. "I really wanted to get the pole for Tony Eury Jr.," said Patrick of her crew chief on the #7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet. "He's never been on the pole here at Daytona and he builds some really good superspeedway cars. For me to be able to push the pedal and get that done makes me feel really good."(Daytona International Speedway)
    Shawna Robinson is the other woman to win a NASCAR Nationwide pole, at Atlanta on March 12, 1994.(2-24-2012)

  • Women in NASCAR - 16 Women have ran at least one race in the Sprint Cup Series
    (by earliest date raced)
    Louise Smith (11 starts/from 1949-1952)
    Sara Christian (7 / 1949-1950)
    Ethel [Flock] Mobley (2 / 1949)
    Ann Bunselmeyer (1 / 1950)
    Ann Chester (2 / 1950)
    Ann Slaasted (1 / 1950)
    Marian Pagan (1 / 1954)
    Fifi Scott (2 / 1955)
    Goldie Parsons (1 / 1965)
    Janet Guthrie (33 / 1976-1980)
    Christine Beckers (1 / 1977)
    Lella Lombardi (1 / 1977)
    Robin McCall (2 / 1982 note: Wally Dallenbach Jr's wife)
    Patty Moise (5 / 1987-1989 note: Elton Sawyer's wife, plus ran 2 Winston Open's)
    Shawna Robinson (8 / 2001-2002)
    Danica Patrick (69 / 2012-2014)
    (thru 8-17-2014)

  • Best Finishes by a female driver in the Sprint Cup Series:
    Sara Christian, Pittsburgh, 10-2-1949, 5th (out of 23 cars)
    Sara Christian, Langhorne, 9-11-1949, 6th (out of 45 cars)
    Janet Guthrie, Bristol, 8-28-1977, 6th (out of 29 cars)
    Danica Patrick, Kansas, 5-10-2014, 7th (out of 43 cars)
    Danica Patrick, Daytona, 2-25-2012, 8th (out of 43 cars)
    Danica Patrick, Daytona, 7-6-2014, 8th (out of 43 cars)
    Janet Guthrie, Charlotte, 10-9-1977, 9th (out of 41 cars)
    Janet Guthrie, Rockingham, 10-23-1977, 9th (out of 36 cars)
    Janet Guthrie, Atlanta, 3-19-1978, 10th (out of 40 cars)
    Janet Guthrie, Michigan, 8-22-1977, 10th (out of 36 cars)
    (8-10-2014)

    Sara Christian has the best finish of the 16 women, a fifth at Heidelberg Speedway in Pittsburgh, PA on Oct 2, 1949(ESPN2's RPM 2Night - stats by Jayski from Greg Feilden's Stock Car Racing Encyclopedia). Some list another woman, Sandy Lynch, but research revealed that Sandy was not a woman, full name: Sandy Neal Lynch (also a son of a former Lynch crew member emailed me in April and said Sandy was a male)(6-8-2001 / 2-26-2012)

  • Women in NASCAR - 18 Females have ran at least one race in the Nationwide Series
    (by earliest year raced)
    Lisa Jackson (1 / 1982)
    Diane Teel (11 / 1982-1986)
    Patty Moise (133 / 1986-1998)
    Debbie Lunsford (1 / 1989)
    Shawna Robinson (61 / 1991-2005)
    Kat Teasdale (1 / 1998)
    Tina Gordon (14 / 2001-04)
    Tammy Jo Kirk (15 / 2003)
    Jennifer Jo Cobb (26 / 2004-2012)
    Kim Crosby (10 / 2004-2006)
    Mara Reyes (1 / 2005)
    Erin Crocker (10 / 2005-2006)
    Chrissy Wallace (2 / 2010)
    Maryeve Dufault (1 / 2011)
    Danica Patrick (61 / 2010-2014)
    Angela Cope (7 / 2011-2012)
    Amber Cope (2 / 2011-2012)
    Johanna Long (41 / 2012-2013)
    (none in 2014)
    (8-9-2014)

  • Women in NASCAR - 16 Females have ran at least one race in the Camping World Truck Series
    (by earliest date raced)
    Tammy Jo Kirk (32 / 1997-1998)
    Angie Wilson (4 / 2002)
    Teri MacDonald (7 / 2002-2004)
    Shawna Robinson (3 / 2003)
    Tina Gordon (16 / 2003-2004)
    Kelly Sutton (54 / 2003-2007)
    Deborah Renshaw (38 / 2004-2005
    Erin Crocker (29 / 2005-2008)
    Chrissy Wallace (7 / 2008-2009)
    Michelle Theriault (6 / 2008-2010)
    Jennifer Jo Cobb (83 / 2008-2014)
    Gabi DiCarlo (3 / 2009)
    Caitlin Shaw (2 / 2009-2010)
    Johanna Long (24 / 2011)
    Angela Cope (1 / 2010)
    Amber Cope (1 / 2010)
    (thru 8-16-2014)


Jayski's Silly Season Site Sprint Cup News
Jayski's NASCAR Silly Season Site