Yesterday, I got to talk with Janet Guthrie, the first female to qualify for the Daytona and Indianapolis 500 races and the previous record holder for the highest start by a woman in the NASCAR sprint cup series.
Her record was broken by Danica Patrick Sunday.
Guthrie said she was happy to see another female reach success in the male-dominated racing world and wished Patrick the best.
One cool thing about Guthrie is that she raced with some of the sport’s legends – like Mario Andretti, Richard Petty and Bill Elliot. On her website, Guthrie has some cool quotes made by these guys about her. Here’s some of my favorites:
“If she had a better ride, she’d probably win one of these [Winston Cup] events.”
– Richard Petty,
Jacksonville (FL) Journal, Feb. 17, 1978
“I think she has done a hell of a job. She’s got a good head on her shoulders. I’ve seen many guys who had much more trouble with Indy than she has had, from the standpoint of belonging on the course. Anyone who says she doesn’t belong, just feels threatened.”
– Mario Andretti
Washington Star, May 29, 1977
“There is no question about her ability to race with us. More power to her. She has ‘made it’ in what I think is the most competitive racing circuit in the world.”
Rochester (NY) Times-Union, Dec. 2, 1977