Foundation honors Indy car pioneer Guthrie Janet Guthrie will be honored at the 10th Women in the Winner’s Circle Awards Celebration Dec. 7 at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis.
Guthrie, who in 1977 became the first woman to start in the Indianapolis 500 and the Daytona 500, will be presented the Mildred Marcum Pioneer award. Her ninth-place finish in the 1978 Indianapolis 500, with a team she formed and managed, was the best by a woman until 2005. In 1980, she was inducted into the International Women's Sports Hall of Fame and the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2006.
Lyn St. James, a seven-time Indianapolis 500 starter, founded the Women in the Winner’s Circle Foundation in 1994 to focus on programs for driver development, advocacy, diversity and education, particularly for women who aspire to become race car drivers.
“I was racing in SCCA in Showroom Stock when Janet made the headlines at Indianapolis in 1977, and I never dreamed at the time that I would ever reach the level of Indy car racing but it certainly made an impression on me,” St. James said.
“I admired Janet’s determination and ability to stay focused during all the media hype and controversy that surrounded her, and I’ve always said by being the first she took all the bullets both straight on and in her back. And she did this after Title IX was passed in 1972 and Billie Jean King beat Bobby Riggs in 1973, so it also brought motorsports into the spotlight. I’m pleased we can honor Janet with the Mildred Marcum Pioneer Award, as she was truly a pioneer in motorsports.”
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