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"Always remember, the value of persistence is in the fact that so few people have any -you'll be left at the finish line when everyone else has quit in the middle of the race."

--Shirley Muldowney



(19 June 1940 - )

--Legendary Top Fuel, Drag and Funny Car Racer

From having no interest in school as child and having no guidance or direction, Shirley Muldowney isn't your typical professional drag racer. What Shirley did have was a competitive spirit with a will to win that couldn't be stopped. Muldowney began street racing as a teenager...

Shirley would eventually become a Legendary Drag Racer. At age 18, she made her Dragster debut at the Fonda Speedway in New York. The National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) initially granted, then disallowed Shirley's license -after discovering she was a woman. Muldowney eventually earned her National Hot Rod Association license in 1965 after support from a Hearst newspaper. In 1969 and 1970, she competed in the Top Gas U.S. Nationals. She then moved to Funny Car racing, as Top Gas lost popular appeal.

Muldowney had to overcome massive opposition from those who felt motorsports -especially drag racing was no place for a woman. Shirley faced those odds head-on. In 1971, Muldowney won the International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) Southern Nationals. In 1973, she stepped up to Top Fuel and won an unprecedented three world championships in 1977, 1980 and 1982.

In 1984, she crushed her hands, pelvis and legs in a crash that would require half a dozen surgeries and 18 months of physical therapy. She would return to racing in the late 1980s and continue racing through 2003. Muldowney became the first person, man or woman, to win two and three Top Fuel titles. She won a total of 18 NHRA National Events and many more IHRA and AHRA event victories.

In 2004, she was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame. The NHRA ranked her #5 on its permanent list of the 50 all-time greatest drivers. Muldowney was also inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America as well as the Automotive Hall of Fame. ESPN ranked her among the Top 25 Drivers of All-Time -with the distinction of the first woman to win a major racing championship. Muldowney is considered amongst the greatest drivers of all-time and the queen of drag racing.


Learn more about this Legend (below).

Tales from a Top Fuel Dragster: A Collection of the Greatest Drag Racing Stories Ever Told (Kindle) by Shirley MuldowneyTales from a Top Fuel Dragster: A Collection of the Greatest Drag Racing Stories Ever Told (Kindle) by Shirley Muldowney


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