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Wednesday, November 19, 2003
Guthrie first woman to qualify for Indy 500
By Larry Schwartz
Special to

May 22, 1977

Last year, Janet Guthrie was the first woman to officially enter the Indy 500, the first woman to drive around the track in actual practice and the first woman driver to complete the mandatory rookie test. However, she did not make a qualifying attempt because her car wasn't fast enough.

This year, she has a faster car. She did more than 191 mph before hitting the wall 12 days ago. Today, the 39-year-old physicist-turned-racer becomes the first woman to qualify for the Indy 500 with a four-lap average of 188.403 mph in the No. 27 Lightning-Offenhauser.

"I want to thank my folks for not bringing me up thinking I couldn't do something because I was a woman," Guthrie says. "Over the course of the last year, I've given a lot of thought to the symbolism of being the first woman here. It's important to credit the women's movement with creating the climate that made this possible."

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