Friday, June 16, 2017

40th Anniversary of Janet Guthrie's Indy 500 Race-- Part 3

Continued from June 7.

At the time, Janet Guthrie had spent 13 years racing and had no money.

She and Rolla Vollstedt did not qualify for the Indy 500 in 1976, but made it in 1977.

She was not welcomed by the male racers  She recalls them saying, "Our blood is going to be on your hands if you don't keep her out of this."  People would yell from the grandstands "Get the (breasts) out of the pits!"  She was amazed at how much hostility there was toward her.

Racing legend Mario Andretti was one of the few who stuck up for her at the time.  he once said she had proved herself and had become "just another car in front of you that you wanted to pass."

Sadly, Janet Guthrie had to drop out of her first race as her engine failed after 10 laps.  She finished 29th.  The following year she finished in ninth place.

The Daytona 500 in 1980 was her last major race.  For the next three years, she tried to find sponsors, but ran out of money.

Pippa Mann was the only female driver in this year's 500.

Quite the Pioneer.  --Cooter

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