Firsts

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RACER Magazine announced Courtney Force as their 2012 Rookie of the Year. 1st time an NHRA driver has ever won this award.

Women have been racing against men for many years. They were banned from AAA racing in 1909. As areas of racing allow women to join the fray, more firsts happen. The following lists, in alphabetical order, are firsts as reported by the racers themselves.

  • Abbott, Mishael became the first female to win a Superkarts! USA (SKUSA) shifter kart feature race
  • Aitken-Walker, Louise - 1979 - first woman to win a national rally championship round in Britian
  • Aldred, Anna Lee - The first woman in the United States to receive a professional jockey’s license.
  • Allison, Erika The First youngest African American female to drag race a pro stock motorcycle
  • Anderson, Shelley and her brother Randy were the first professional brother and sister team to compete in NHRA
  • Bean, Jessica - First Female in History to Win a Kenyon Midget Championship
  • Beatriz, Ana - First female driver to win in Firestone Indy Lights. First female Brazilian race car driver to race in Brazil
  • Beckers, Christine - NASCAR - First time since 1949 that three women competed in a race together: Janet Guthrie, Lella Lombardi, and Christine Beckers
  • Brannam, Jessica - the first and only female to be named "Badger Kart Club" Diver of the Year in that club's 50-year history. She is the only female to win every single race during a WKA (World Kart Association) National Series season. Brannam accomplished that feat four times.
  • Burkett, Bunny - First woman to win a National Event in Top Alcohol Funny Car
  • Butcher, Susan - The first woman to place in the top 10 and won three Iditarod's in a row.
  • Calderon, Tatiana - the first female competitor to win the Snap-on Stars of Karting Divisional Championship when she took home the JICA Eastern Division title in 2008
  • Christian, Sara - First women to compete in NASCAR It was at Charlotte.
  • Clark, Jessica - The first woman to win two USAC championships.
  • Cobb, Jennifer Jo - the first woman to finish in the top 10 in any of NASCAR’s top three divisions at Daytona.
  • Cope, Angela and Amber - the first Twins of NASCAR!
  • Corn, Brianne - First woman to win an SCCA RallyCross National Championship
  • Costello, Maria - First woman solo racer to stand on the podium at the Isle of Man Manx Grand Prix and the first woman to take a podium finish in either a TT or Manx GP.
  • Cuneo, Joan Newton - first female driver in the first Glidden Tour, won several races between 1905-1908, won a national amateur championship- 1909, broke speed records at the Marti Gras races - stopped racing in 1909 when women were banned from AAA events.
  • de Balanza, Julia - first woman to race Formula One since introduction in 1950 of the Drivers Championship
  • de Filippis, Maria Teresa - First woman to compete in a Formula One race.
  • de Silvestro, Simona - First woman to earn a podium finish at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with a pair of third-place FBMWUSA results at the 2006 U.S. Grand Prix.
  • Devenport, Maci - 1st Girl in AMA ATVA History to: Earn an overall podium season finish in a male dominated class (2010) and to win a 1st place Moto and also win an overall finish in the male dominated 90 production class (2012)
  • Duno, Milka - First woman to score points in Open Telefonica series (2001). First Hispanic female driver to test in ARCA Racing, to qualify for and compete in the Indy 500, to lead an IndyCar Series race.
    First woman to win a major international sportscar race in the USA (the Rolex Series (Grand Am) Grand Prix of Miami at Homestead-Miami Speedway), to earn a class win at the prestigious Petit Le Mans, with two class wins at Petit Le Mans, to compete in the Daytona Prototype category, to compete in the Le Mans Prototype 900 category in the American Le Mans Series, to score points in Europe's World Series Light by Nissan Championship, , to score points in Europe’s World Series Light Championship and to win a Ferrari Challenge race in the United States, to race the fastest cars in the Open Telefonica World Series. Milka Duno is the first Venezuelan Athlete to be inducted into the Latin Americna International Sports Hall of Fame
  • Duno, Milka - The first Latin American women driver ever to be classified "expert" First woman to win overall a major international sports car race outright in North America in 24 years when she triumphed in the second round of the 2004 Grand American (GrandAm) Sportscar Series at Homestead on 28 February 2004.First woman to twice win overall a major sports car race in North America. First woman to drive the fastest cars in the Rolex Series - the Daytona Prototype. First woman to win the prestigious Petit Le Mans. First woman with two class wins at Petit Le Mans. First woman to score points in the most important single seat racing series in Europe aside from Formula One - the Open Telefonica World Series. The first Latina to be featured in the advertising launch of the new Pontiac G6. First woman in history to score points in this prestigious Europe’s World Series Light by Nissan Championship series. First woman to win a Ferrari Challenge race in the USA. The first woman in the United States and second in the world to ever win the Ferrari Challenge race at Road Atlanta. Milka Duno is the first Venezuelan Athlete to be inducted into the Latin Americna International Sports Hall of Fame
  • Enders, Erica - the first woman to qualify first in the pro stocks. First woman to win in NHRA’s ultra-competitive Pro Stock class.
  • Farmer, April - first woman to try to qualify for the World of Outlaw late models in 2005 at Clarksville Speedway. First woman to qualify for the Southern Alstars, Tennessee Thunder series, SRRS,and Battle of the Bluegrass series. First woman to make a World of Outlaw late model race at Deer Creek, MN.
  • Fenaroli, Natalie - The first female to win a Teen Mazda Challenge race.
  • Filippis, Maria Teresa De - The first women to compete in the modern Grand Prix era.
  • Fisher, Sarah - a second-place finish at the IRL's inaugural race at Homestead Miami Speedway in 2001 is the best result ever by a woman in Indy-style racing. 2002 Sarah became the fastest woman qualifier ever for the Indianapolis 500 with a four-lap average speed of 229-plus miles per hour. A few months later, Sarah became the first woman to ever qualify fastest for a major North American open-wheel event capturing the pole and setting a new track record at Kentucky Speedway. First woman to drive the fastest cars in the American Le Mans Series - LMP 900
  • Force, Ashley Hood - first woman to win in NHRA Funny Car.
  • Force, Courtney - 1st time an NHRA driver has ever won Racer Magazine's Rookie of the Year award. (2012)
  • Gade, Leena - an engineer at Audi Sport and the first woman to be part of the winning team in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2011.
  • George, Jill - the first woman to run the Deery Brothers, WDRL, World of Outlaws and Lucas Oil Dirt Late Model series events. The first woman to enter the presigious Knoxville Late Model Nationals.
  • Golden, Vicki - X Games Super X. The first female to qualify for an AMA Arenacross main.
  • Guthrie, Janet - The first women to qualify for a major American automobile race, the World 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The first woman to compete in a NASCAR Winston Cup superspeedway stock car race. The first woman to qualify for and compete in the Indianapolis 500. The first woman and Top Rookie at the Daytona 500 The first women to qualify for a major American automobile race, the World 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. In 1976, the first woman to compete in a NASCAR Winston Cup superspeedway stock car race On May 7, 1977, Guthrie was the first woman to race in the Indy 500, she also set an Indianapolis 500 qualifying lap-speed record. She was also the first woman to qualify for the Daytona 500 finishing 12 in 1977.
  • Halliday, Liz - the first women to race the Aston Martin DBR9 in International sportscar competition and the first women to ever win a round of the British GT Championship – Spa, 2003.
  • Harker, Diane - First Australian sisters to qualify at an NHRA event and win an NHRA event.
  • Harker, Kate - First Australian sisters to qualify at an NHRA event and win an NHRA event..
  • Heath, Kate - 1st Louise Aitken-Walker Trophy
  • Hennessy, Amanda - First women to hold the title Corvette Euro Meet Grand Prix Champion 2010.
  • Holbrook, Shea - The first woman to win in the Touring Car division of World Challenge
  • Holl, Diane - The first woman to be chief engineer of a race winner in modern Indy-car history.
  • Howell, Mrs. John -1899 - first woman to obtain a driver’s licence
  • Huffman, Tanja first woman to be voted "Sportsman of the Year" at Barrie Speedway in Ontario Canada.
  • Junnila, Leanne & Mei, Verena won the B-Spec National Championship in 2011, becoming the first all-female team to win a Rally America National Championship.
  • Kemp, Vicki - the first female to win a national karting title in South Africa.
  • King, Anitam - first woman race driver on West Coast - daring behind the wheel and quit after a near death accident (silent film actress) - first person to complete a transcontinental journey, alone.
  • Kintner, Jill - the first American female on the BMX Racing Olympic team.
  • Kirk, Tammy Jo - first female NASCAR Slim Jim All Pro Series Driver in 1991 - first woman to win two Busch Pole Awards in the series in 1996 - first female driver to compete in NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series in 1997
  • Kleid, Kerry - First Woman to hold an AMA Professional Racing License
  • Kleinschmidt, Jutta - first woman to win the Paris-Dakar Rally
  • Labrousse, Mme - first woman to entered the Paris-Spa race. She finished 5th
  • Landauer, Julia -the youngest and first female driving champion from the Skip Barber Racing Series
  • Legge, Kathryn - first woman to win a pole position in British Formula Ford Zetec series, first woman in history to win a professsional open wheel race in North America - Atlantics at Long Beach. 2000 - the first female driver to win a pole British Formula Ford Zetec Championship. 2002 - the first female to receive the prestigious British Racing Drivers Club (BRDC) Rising Star Award. 2005 - the first female driver to win a major U.S. open-wheel event when she scored victory in her very first Atlantic Seires event, coming from seventh on the grid to win in Long Beach. First female driver to win a major open-wheel race in United States. 2006 - First female driver to run full-time in Champ Car World Series
  • Linz, Mrs. F.J. - organized the first women’s motor club
  • Llewellyn, Peggy - First Woman Of Color In The World To Win A Professional Motorsports Event! NHRA Pro Stock Motorcyclist
  • Lombardi, Lella - First woman to score points in Formula one: (1975 Spanish Grand Prix). Spanish GP, first women to post a top six placing (6th), 1975. The only woman (so far) to earn even half a point in a World Formula One Driver's Championship Race. (The race was shortened because of numerous on track accidents.)'
  • Lux, Cindi - the first woman to podium at Rose Festival Main Race
  • Lyons, Nicole - First African-American female to race in NHRA Pro Stock
  • Marinus, Shauna is the first woman to win an open class National SCCA Solo Championship in 1998.
  • Mann, Pippa - The first British female t o have won an international kart race (2003). The first female to race in the World Series by Renault 3.5 Championship.
  • Marsh, Candyce became the first African-American female professional racecar driver to compete in the Pro Modified category, reaching speeds in excess of 200mph
  • Martin, Taylor, First ever Female Champion of a race series at Waterford CT
  • McDermott, Amanda became the first female to ever win a NASCAR Grand Stock race.
  • Melendy, Carolyn - the first woman to hold a license in super gas,comp and promod and was the first woman to run over 200 miles per hour in a pro mod.
  • Mei, Verena & Leanne Junnila won the B-Spec National Championship, becoming the first all-female team to win a Rally America National Championship.
  • Miller, Kari - the first woman to win a Figure 8 race at Raceway Park!
  • Mims, Donna Mae - First woman to win a national championship - 1963
  • Mitchell, Lynn - first woman to win a feature event on her home track. an asphalt circle-track in Ohio. (It has been open since the late 1930's).
  • Mockler, Stephanie the first female to win a United States Auto Club Ford Focus Midget Series. The youngest female to ever win a USAC main event.
  • Moise, Patty - The first woman to lead a NASCAR Busch Series race (at Road Atlanta in 1987) and the first woman to win a Bud Pole at a superspeedway. One of only two women to have run a full schedule in the NASCAR Busch series (in the 1990's) the other being Shawna Robinson. The first woman to lead a NASCAR Busch Series race (at Road Atlanta in 1987) and the first woman to win a Bud Pole at a superspeedway (at Talladega in 1988). In addition, Moise holds the record for the highest finish by a woman in a NASCAR Busch Series race, with a seventh-place at Talldega in 1995.  The first woman to lead a NASCAR Busch Series race (at Road Atlanta in 1987) and the first woman to win a Bud Pole at a superspeedway (at Talladega in 1988). In addition, Moise holds the record for the highest finish by a woman in a NASCAR Busch Series race, with a seventh-place at Talldega in 1995.
  • Mouton, Michele - France. First woman to win a round of the rally World Championship, won at San Remo Rally in 1981- win the rallies of Portugal, Brazil and Acropolis and finish second overall in Rally World Championships with co-driver Fabrizia Pons 1982 - first woman to win the Race of Pike’s Peak (1985) Ran in the 1975 Le Mans
  • Muldowney, Shirley - the first woman licensed by the National Hot Rod Association, She was the first driver, male or female, to repeat as NHRA (National Hot Rod Association) Winston World Champion and the first driver to win the Championship three times: 1977, 1980, and 1982.
  • Myers, Elena - the first woman in series history to win a race when she won in the Supersport class at Infineon Raceway. The first professional woman racer to win a major event at Daytona International Speedway.
  • O'Neal, Kitty - Not only did she jump out of helicopters without a parachute [first women], she was first to drive a Hydrogen Peroxide rocket car, Rocket Boat and other exotic cars.
  • Paris, Melissa - Frst female to qualify for a World Supersport Championship race. First Female to Test Ride Yamaha M1 MotoGP Prototype. First woman on ASRA podium (New Jersey Motorsports Park).First female to qualify for a WSS event (Miller Motorsports park).
  • Patrick, Danica - The first woman to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup pole. First woman to lead a green lap in a NASCAR Cup race. The first full-time female driver in the history of the Toyota Atlantic Series. first woman to score a pole position and first woman to finish on the podium in the Atlantic Championship, the first woman to lead the Indianapolis 500, to win a major closed-course motorsports race, the first woman to win an IndyCar race. First and only female to lead laps in the Indianapolis 500, highest-qualifying (fourth, 2005) and finishing (third in 2009) female in Indianapolis 500history.
  • Peterson, Cindy - First Woman to have fast time and a feature win at Hales Corners. and the First Woman to win a World of Outlaws sanctioned late model event. First Woman to qualify for ASA race at Minnesota Fair grounds in 1994. First woman Late Model Feature Event winner at Slinger Speedway (6/23/96), and finished 6th in seasonal Point.
  • Poensgen, Katja - 21, of Germany, became the first woman to win an international motorcycle racing title. She topped all in the Supermono Cup series on a Suzuki 750 at Brands Hatch, UK, Aug. 2nd, 1998. German VW Polo Cup-#30
  • Porterfield, Lesllie - first woman to enter the Bonneville 200 mph Club on a conventional street motorcycle
  • Pruett-LeDuc, Leah, Nostalgia Funny Car driver, became the first person in history to reach 250 mph in a Nostalgia Funny Car. The first female to win the Nostalgia Funny Car event at the famed March Meet at Auto Club Raceway - Famoso, Ca
  • Quiniou, Corentine - 1st all-female team at Lisbonne-Dakar, 49th overall ranking, Youngest team winner. (2006. 1st all-female team at Transafricaine Classic, 8th overall ranking (2007)
  • Renshaw, Deborah - first women to finish in the top ten of a national oval-track racing series (6th in 2000), first woman to win a Busch Series Pole position with a track record (1994) and first women to win a NASCAR Touring Series event (1988) first women to win a pole position in the NASCAR Busch Series and she achieved that with a track record of 174.33 mph in 1994
  • Reyes, Mara - First Latin Woman ever to drive the NASCAR Busch Series.
  • Riddles, Libby - The first woman to win the Iditarod in 1985.
  • Robinson, Dorothy "Dot" - the first woman to win a national American Motorcycle Association (AMA) competition during the famous Jack Pine National Endurance Championship sidecar class race in Michigan in 1934. During the 1930s, she either placed or won more than 50 endurance motorcycle competitions against men.
  • Robinson, Shawna - first female driver to ever finish in top-10 points as well as compete in full season in the ARCA Re/Max series. 1st female driver to qualify for the pole in Busch Series competition at Atlanta '94. Won a Goody's Dash race becoming first female to win a NASCAR touring series event.
  • Ruman, Amy - the First Woman to Win in 45-Year History of Trans-Am in Wild Road Atlanta Season Finale.
  • Ruston, Kenzie - First Female to Win a National Legends Championship
  • Sampey, Angelle - Angelle set a national motorcycle speed record by negotiating the quarter mile at Reading, Pa., in 7.373 seconds, the fastest pass ever by an NHRA pro stock motorcycle by either a man or woman to earn her first NHRA victory. A three-time champion who has won more races than any other woman in NHRA history. The first woman to win an NHRA national event in Sonoma.
  • Sanders, Pam - First woman to win a divisional title in division 3 stock and super stock.
  • Sather, Natalie - First women to sit on front row in the 54 year history of South Boston Speedway
  • St. James, Lyn - the first woman to win a professional road race driving solo and is the first woman to drive faster than 200 mph on an oval track.
  • Skelton-Frankman, Betty - first woman in Corvette Hall of fame
  • Smith, Louise - First lady of Racing - NASCAR
  • Steele, Heidi - First female to win professional truck championships
  • Stevens, Kath the first female driver to race in Australia's Top Doorslammer Drag Championship Series.
  • Sullivan, Kate - Became the youngest female to ever qualify and win a round in Pro Stock Motorcycle in NHRA history
  • Taylor, Molly - First woman name to be part of the Pirelli Driver Academy.
  • Teasdale, Kathryn "Kat" - First female to race in the Atlantic Series in 1991 at the Vancouver's Indy race.
  • Texter, Shayna. The first woman to win a pro flat track main event!
  • Throckmorton Miranda - First woman to win a non-wing sprint car feature in the United States
  • Tillett, Laura - the first British female to compete in the ‘KF1’ World Championship, the karting equivalent of Formula One, following considerable success on the British scene.
  • Tresch, Brittany - first female to ever win a CRSA event..
  • Troxel, Melanie - The first female drag racer in any major sanction to win a Pro Mod race. Added to her previous victories in Top Fuel, Funny Car, and Top Alcohol Dragster, Troxel has now won Wallys in four different NHRA categories, another record for females. The first woman to win in drag racing’s two premier categories — Top Fuel and Funny Car — in the spring of 2008. Only 14 racers in history have accomplished that feat. First NHRA Top Fuel driver, male or female, to reach the final round in the first five events of a season. First female to be named a quarterly winner of the prestigious ESPY Driver of the Year award. Became quickest and fastest female in NHRA history at Pomona 2 in 2005.
  • TrueCar - The first all-female racing organization covering six different types of racing.
  • Vaters, Pamela Driver of Boogie Van monster truck. Pamela is the first and only female monster truck driver to qualify for the Penda Point Series.
  • Wallace, Chrissy - first time in NASCAR's history, a father-daughter duo will race in a national series event.
  • Weller, Corry - The first female to race in the 800+HP Pro 4 truck class. The first female racer to earn multiple podiums in the Pro 4 class
  • Whitaker, Amanda Jane - first female to win a British National Single Seater Championship by winning the Monoposto Championship (1996) Euro Historic F2-Chevon B.34 FA
  • White, Jenny - the first female to set the pole at I-70 Speedway and the fastest female qualifier, but also the first female to win a feature race in the premier division in the 33 year history of I-70 Speedway.
  • Willard, Jessica is the ORIGINAL Queen of Diamonds. She drove Al Hanna's Queen of Diamonds jet dragster when he first debuted it.
  • Willmington, Rachel - First Woman to Race Trucks in Australia and New Zealand at the age of 18yrs.
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It wasn't that many years ago that women weren't even allowed in the pits.



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