Yet google women drivers and you will get (in 0.80 seconds or so) and you will get a host of hilarious videos of women parking and articles declaring that it's a FACT women can't drive. I expect that's why women driver's insurance is so low compared men's. Their average driving record is so good because they spend more time parking than on the actual road - AMIRIGHT FELLAS?!
There seems to be a lot of pointless and lazy women driver hostility out there. So we would like to make a big deal today that it is the First Lady of Drag Racing Shirley Muldowney's birthday!
Born on the 19 June 1940 in Vermont, Muldowney started out as a teen racing through the streets of Schenectady, New York in the 1950s. Eventually finding a way to satisfy her need for speed in the budding sport of drag racing.
At the tender age of 16 Shirley Ann Roque married Jack Muldowney. It was Jack who built her first dragster: "It was Jack Muldowney who first taught me how to drive a car. Jack was the mechanic. He was the guy who tuned the cars that let the girl beat all the boys. I was a kid from upstate New York with no guidance, no direction. I was headed for trouble, nothing going for me. Then I found the sport at a very young age and was able to make something out of it."
In 1958 Muldowney made her debut on the drag strip at the Fonda Speedway and 7 years later she gained her National Hot Rod Association pro license.
In 1971 Muldowney had won her first major competition
When the NHRA dropped the Top Gas category Muldowney had been racing in, she moved into the new Funny Car category. Funny cars were known as the fibreglass infernos, with their forward-mounted engines that ran on nitro methane fuel, which is prone to detonate, they were a dangerous car to drive.
In spite of her success, Shirley came up against much opposition on and off the track. Drag racing was seen as an exclusively male sport and people didn't want her to race. Muldowney had a lot to prove no matter how many races she won, you can see her impressive racing record here.
It isn't just in racing Shirley has beaten the odds. In 1984 at the NHRA event in Montreal a front tire failure on her dragster caused a crash at over 250mph. The crash broke her legs so badly that Shirley had to undergo major and repeated surgeries, treatments and physiotherapy before she was able to walk again. It was, however, mere months before she was back behind the wheel of a racing car.
In 2003 due to funding issues Shirley Muldowney, sometimes known as Cha-cha on the track, retired from professional drag racing, though even at the age of 73 she is keen to return to the sport.
Happy birthday Shirley Muldowney, we suggest you blast this L7 track from your car speakers and do a celebratory circuit.