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Home / History / Drag Racing, Gender-Gap Killing Shirley Muldowney Retires Nine Years Ago this November 9



It was nine years ago this November 9, that Shirley Muldowney, the first woman to earn a license to compete in the National Hot Rod Association’s top class retired from competition.

Winning her license in the 1960’s, Muldowney had to overcome many obstacles during her racing career. Many mechanics were hesitant to join her team, viewing it as being a step down in their careers. The crowds over the years were also very tough at times choosing to jeer and catcall as Muldowney raced. And, of course many of the other drivers did not want to race her.

However, race her they did. And, lose to her they did as well. Muldowney raced in 157 NHRA national events and won three national NHRA championships before she ran her final race at the Pomona Raceway in California on November 9, 2003.

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About the author: Andrew Greene


Now playing the role of grumpy old man in the foothills of Northern California’s Gold Country, Andrew has had a life-long love affair with vehicles of all sorts, from the bicycle he pedaled across the continent in 1991 to the armored personnel carriers he drove in the Army to the bamboo rafts, elephants, motorcycle taxis, ferries and buses he traveled by during the 13 years he lived and worked in South East Asia. Always eager to learn more about how the people of the world get from here to there in their day-today lives, he, a professional journalist, has been covering the vehicle industry for years.


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