Friday, December 11, 2009

Women in NASCAR

Danica Patrick won't be the the first woman to drive in NASCAR, but maybe she can help out in the stats department.
There have been 12 women who have raced in what is now the Nationwide Series. Patrick is going to be the 13th when she makes her first start, perhaps at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana.
Diane Teel was the first woman to start a race in NASCAR's second tier division in 1982. She made 11 starts in five years and posted two top-10 finishes.
Patty Moise made 133 starts from 1986 to 1998 and had four top 10s.
Tammy Jo Kirk made 15 starts all in one season, in 2003. Unlike Moise and Teel, she never finished in the top 10.
The last woman to start a Nationwide Series race was Jennifer Jo Cobb in 2008.
As for women drivers in Cup, there have been 15 of them. Janet Guthrie made 33 starts in five years from 1976 to 1980. She posted five top 10s in those five years.
Sara Christian made seven starts in 1949 and 1950 and managed one top-five finish. She also had two top 10s.
It looks like 1949 and 1950 were boom years for women drivers in NASCAR. Six women made starts at the highest level of NASCAR in those years. In addition to Christian, Louise Smith, Ethel Mobley, Ann Chester, Ann Slaasted and Ann Bunselmeyer started at least one Cup race in 1949 or 1950.
In the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and its earlier versions, 13 women have started at least one race. Five of them raced in 2009. Chrissy Wallace, daughter of NASCAR driver Mike Wallace and niece of Rusty Wallace, made seven starts last season.


  1. Danica on Dale Jr's team will make for a money making magnet; sounds like a good move by Nascar at least in terms of ticket sales

  2. Any female will eventually have a problem when their power steering goes out. We simply dont have the upper body strength, period. I had all I could do to turn my super stock 4200 lb. car onto the return strip, back in the day. I'm convinced, this is the reason no female has ever been truly up there with the top tier drivers, and never will be. Nhra ok, but not Nascar.

  3. If she doesn't deliver as a driver, she's toast. So far, it's been a lot of hype and no substance.Fans will only take the hype for so long. Once she climbs into a NASCAR race vehicle,either a car or truck, it'll be put up or shut up time.

    As much as NASCAR has missed the boat lately when it comes to fans and marketing, they'll probably miss the boat on Danica too. The media is already over-saturated with articles about her and fans are already being turned off because of it. NASCAR already bet the farm on one driver they hyped to high heavens and lost. Are they going to do it a second time? Burn me once shame on you, burn me twice, shame on me.