Janet Guthrie became the first woman to compete in the 1977 Indianapolis 500, one year later, in 1978, with the help of Texaco, Guthrie entered the race with her own car.

Starting the race from row five of the grid in her Texaco Star Special Janet Guthrie Wildcat DGS at a speed of 190.325MPH.

The Iowa native broke her right wrist during a charity tennis match in the build up to the race but kept her injury from officials.

Guthrie had a fantastic race despite her injury as she came home inside the top ten in ninth place.

Speaking during her Qualified documentary which is currently available to watch on Disney +, Guthrie says she used her left had to change gears.

Guthrie competed in three consecutive Indianapolis 500’s from 1977-79.

The day after the 1978 Indianapolis 500, Dr Thomas Hanna, the than Medical Director of the track suggested that Guthrie be reprimanded for her failure to notify officials of her injury but she wasn’t and became the first female racing driver to finish in the top ten in The Greatest Spectacle In Racing.

Share This