The Driving Range
MSHFA president George Levy has announced the induction of three female race car drivers at once; Janet Guthrie (Open Wheel), Fran Muncey (Powerboats) and Judy Stropus (Sports Cars) into the Motorsports Hall of Fame. Fran also joins her late husband inaugural class inductee Bill Muncey as the only married couple to be so honored.
Although Bill Muncey died in an accident while competing in a race in Acapulco, Mexico in 1981, Fran went on to lead Bill Muncey Enterprises to 24 wins and seven straight Gold Cups as team owner from 1981-1988. She also guided the company successfully from piston engines to turbine boats.
Guthrie, the first woman to compete in the Indy 500 and Daytona 500, was also the first female driver to earn Top 10 starting positions and finishes in both the IndyCar and NASCAR Cup Series. She also was the first woman to lead a Cup race (Ontario, 1977), and ended her career with a record for the highest Cup Finish (6th), matched only by Danica Patrick. It should also be noted that Janet Guthrie’s driving suit and helmet are in the Smithsonian.
Judy Stropus renowned for her ability to score and time even 24-hour races single-handedly, without a break prior to the introduction of computerized timing, was coveted by several top outfits during her racing career including Penske, BMW, Brumos Racing, Bud Moore Racing, and Al Holbert
Previous women inductees into the Motorsports Hall of Fame include Denise McCluggage (inducted 2001), Louise Smith (NASCAR, Class of 1999), Shirley Muldowney (Drag Racing, Class of 1990); Betty Skelton (At Large, Class of 2008); Linda Faye Vaughn (At Large, Class of 2019); and Amelia Earnhardt (Air Racing, Inducted 1992).
Note: The Motorsports Hall of Fame of America honors motorsports competitors and contributors from the United States from all disciplines, with categories for Open Wheel, Stock Cars, Powerboats, Drag Racing, Motorsports Cars, Aviation, At Large and Historic.