Becoming one of the top professional racers is no easy feat. It requires skill, determination, a lot of bravery, and a deep understanding of cars and the way they interact with the road. Today we want to go over some of the most amazing and skilled female drivers who pass all these tests with flying colors. Start your engines and be prepared to be seriously impressed by these trailblazing women.
Francesca Linossi is an avid car racer. She is often seen driving dirt bikes, or her signature Mercedes track car. Her tweaked-out Mercedes AMG GT3 is one of the most intimidating vehicles currently employed in NASCAR. She got the vehicle after racing with a Lamborghini Huracan for a while. Linossi also loves hiking and often enjoys traveling anywhere from beaches to deserts.
Francesca Linossi is one of the more promising female NASCAR drivers and has accumulated four wins from 120 races entered. She's arguably the most famous Italian NASCAR driver in the world right now and lives quite an extraordinary life. She was the youngest race driver in Italian history to drive four rounds of the Citroen C1 Cup and currently focuses mostly on GT racing.
The Canadian-born Isabelle Tremblay was born in 1972 in St. Hippolyte, Quebec, and became a female racing driver at the mature age of 35. This makes her very unique in the racing world, as most drivers, especially the female ones, end up retiring at around this age. Before transitioning into racing, she worked as a real estate agent, but couldn’t help herself from dipping her feet into the racing driver world.
In late 2008, Isabelle Tremblay made her debut in a 200-lap endurance race alongside 97 other drivers. While she participated mostly for the fun of it, the accomplished and talented driver actually wound up winning the event. From there, she began training for a real career in the sport, and joined the first Formula 1600 race, while also becoming the only woman in history to win this challenging and unique tournament.
Angela and Amber Cope
Female drivers are quite rare in the NASCAR sport. But what’s even rarer, is two identical female driver twins who compete together in NASCAR events. Angela and Amber Cope, also known as the Twin Turbos, made history in 2010 when they both competed in three top NASCAR events together. Angela, however, is regarded as a slightly better racer than her sister, Amber.
The two have built an incredible racing career, but it took them many years to do so. They overcame many obstacles before getting the recognition they do today and had to share a racing car at an early point in their career.
Janet Guthrie has a very interesting life story that involved a massive career transition toward her passion. It’s hard to describe what would motivate a successful aerospace engineer, which is one of America’s best-paying jobs, to switch careers and become a professional race car driver. In 1972, she made the switch which was quite a feat considering that there had been no female NASCAR drivers in over a decade.
Perhaps it was her deep knowledge of physics that helped her, but what’s clear is that Janet Guthrie was a great driver. She finished 15th in the 1976 World 600 tournament, her first-ever race, and went on to quality and complete in the challenging Indianapolis 500 and the Daytona 500 races. Guthrie is revered in the race-driving world and her race suit and helmet are displayed at the Smithsonian Institute, the world's largest museum, and research complex.
Like many other female racers on this list, Johanna Long was the daughter of an avid racing fan who helped turn his daughter into a lean, mean racing machine. Long began racing karts at the young age of five and made her NASCAR debut in 2009. Since then, she has raced in a variety of competitions and often manages to beat much older and more popular competitors.
Long is an extremely active racer and has participated in 38 events in 2009 alone. Of these 38 events, she managed to win 27 top-ten finishes, 17 top-five finishes, and 5 wins. From there, Long only improved and later crossed a major milestone in her NASCAR career when she won the Snowball Derby winner in 2010. We’re excited to see this trend continue and look forward to what Long might accomplish next as one of NASCAR’s top racing drivers.
Kristin Bumbera took her NASCAR career and turned it into her own successful racing brand. These days Bumbera is mostly retired from her once-impressive professional racing career with some incredible stats, which include 16 wins, 53 top 5's, and 97 top 10's.
Throughout her NASCAR career, Bumbera received two Rookies of the Year titles, and was accredited as NASCAR's Drive for Diversity “Participant of the Year”
Cyndie Allemann is one of Switzerland's most popular female race car drivers. She competed in various racing events since her debut in 1997, including the Renault Speed Trophy F2000, Formula 3 Euro Series, Firestone Indy Lights, and most recently, the ADAC GT Masters. The veteran racer has driven some of the best cars you'll ever see, including a Ford GT, an Audi R8 LMS, and various other impressive supercars.
Cyndie’s career has slowed down in recent years, but she's still very much active on social media and has a relatively successful Instagram account with over 65,000 followers.
Kelly Sutton first began racing when she was just ten years old. She obviously wasn’t driving real cars at the time and focused most of her attention on racing karts. Ever since she was little, Sutton knew that she was going to be a successful racing driver when she got older. Her goal was put on hold when the ambitious driver was diagnosed at age 16 with multiple sclerosis, a potentially disabling disease of the brain and spinal cord which causes a person's immune system to attack his own body.
Through much dedication, optimism, and hard work, the athlete eventually reached her goals. Sutton was able to begin officially racing in NASCAR a few years later when she competed in the Old Dominion Speedway race. She only raced for three years before retiring but managed to win seven feature races at the time.
Erica Thiering is a seven-time NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Champion and began her racing career when she was just sixteen years old in the Edmonton International Raceways four-cylinder class. She often dedicates her races to her sister, Erica, who sadly passed away.
The Canadian race car driver comes from Sherwood Park, Alberta, and claims to dream of one day becoming an astronaut. It’s not every day that an unknown racer from Alberta makes it to NASCAR, which just goes to show that with enough talent, hard work, and dedication — anything is possible.
Erika Monforte was born in 1989 at the Zoppola, a commune in the Province of Pordenone, Italy. She showed great promise as a racing driver from a very young age and made her first attempt to compete in amateur tracks more than a decade ago. Her father, Maurizio Monforte, was also a professional racing driver and retired back in 1998.
The up-and-coming Italian race car driver got herself into a few serious races over the years, including the Abarth 500 Italia as well as the Mugello Circuit and the Superstars GT Sprint Championship with a Porsche 997. In mid-2014, Erika Monforte made her NASCAR debut and placed 9th, winning the female category. She’s also the proud mother of two daughters, Matilde and Sofia.
One of the first female NASCAR drivers in the world, Ethel Mobley, has competed in over 100 NASCAR events throughout her long and successful career. She showed great promise from the start, and would often finish in the top ten when it came to car racing. One of her best-known achievements was placing 8th at the Daytona Beach Road Course. Ethel was part of a legendary Flock racing family, with three of her brothers: Tim, Fonty, and Bob Flock actually helping pioneer NASCAR in the first place.
According to Tim Flock, one of Mobley's NASCAR racing brothers, Ethel was named after the gasoline her father used in his car. In 1949, she became the first female racing driver to ever compete against men in the state of Georgia. Mobley was the top woman driver in the southeastern United States and regularly placed first in all-women races.
The highly accomplished racer Natacha Gachnang has been in 16 races since her debut in 2009. Gachnang is also the cousin of former Formula One driver, Sébastien Buemi. Perhaps car racing is a family thing… or not. Either way, she's that good!
At age 22, Gachnang found herself the victim of a dramatic car accident when trying to qualify for the inaugural FIA GT1 World Championship race in Abu Dhabi. Luckily, she didn't require any surgery and recovered quite fast. That same year, she became a member of the world's first all-female crew, and raced at the Le Mans 24 hours in 1991 and again in 2013. There’s no doubt that Gachnang had to face many obstacles on her path to becoming an accomplished NASCAR driver, but that just makes her respectable record even more impressive.
Chrissy Wallace's racing credentials begin with her immediate and extended family. As the daughter of Mike Wallace, the pro-NASCAR driver, and also the family member of Rusty, Kenny, and Steve Wallace, Chrissy has been firmly established in the racing culture right from birth. In 2007, she became the first female driver to ever win the Hickory Motor Speedway race in North Carolina. Her NASCAR debut occurred in 2008 when she participated in their Craftsman Truck Series and finished in 18th place.
Since then, Wallace has managed to secure other victories and records, such as being the first woman to win an American Speed Association Late Model track championship at the Lebanon I-44 Speedway. This was the same track where her father, Mike, won the championship more than two decades before.
In 2015, Natalie Decker joined NASCAR thanks to their Drive for Diversity program. By age 9 she was already a go-kart racer, and by age 11 she had already won 4 championships. Decker began racing 4-cylinder modified stock cars as early as age 12 and began winning various awards from there. In 2013, she took home the Rookie of the Year award by finishing third in the competition. Natalie kept winning various tournaments in the following years, before being picked up by NASCAR in 2015.
Natalie Decker has a much better record than her two cousins. Since then, Decker has participated in three ARCA races for Venturini Motorsports (Elko, Toledo, and Pocono), and finished eleventh on the lead lap. We’ll have to keep up with her fast-paced racing career and see where she ends up in the next few years.
Nicole Behar loves using her Instagram to feature various photos of her impressive NASCAR career. She drives a custom-modified Toyota Camry and has her own team called the "Nicole Behar Racing" team. She's quite an accomplished NASCAR driver, and finished 10th in 2016, as well as 3rd at the Evergreen Speedway race the following year. She's a fifth-generation racer and began racing full-bodied cars at age fourteen.
Nicole Behar has been racing since 2014, but as of 2017, she has slowed down in her NASCAR career after giving birth to her first child. Since then, her focus has gone primarily to one of her business ventures, the Fueled Coffee Company, a coffeehouse in Spokane Valley, Washington.
In 2004, Kim Crosby made perhaps one of the most impressive and amazing career transformations, when she went from a full-time Louisiana school principal into a full-time race driver. She originally started out as a drag racer but found herself transitioning again, this time into a monster truck driver for Monster Jam.
She's undoubtedly the coolest school principal of all time if there ever was one. Crosby is currently semi-retired, but continues to race occasionally and plans to return to NASCAR if the right opportunity happens to come along.
Julia Landauer is both an accomplished race car driver and a motivational speaker. She has raced in the popular NASCAR K&N Pro Series West competition and was the highest finishing female ever in 2016. Outside of driving, Landauer uses her outdoorsy champion skills as a contestant on the 26th season of the popular CBS reality show, Survivor.
Like many of her female NASCAR peers, Landauer had shown a knack for racing from a very young age. At just 10 years old little Julia used to compete in go-kart competitions and would bring home the victory more often than not. In 2017, the accomplished racer was named in Forbes magazine's 30 Under 30 list under the category of sports.
There seems to be a recurring theme with female racing drivers that includes them leaving high-paying, respectable positions in-order to become down-and-dirty race car drivers. Tina Gordon (who is not related to legendary NASCAR drivers Jeff Gordon and Robby Gordon), left her successful position as an insurance agency owner by selling the business in order to follow her passion and become a NASCAR race car driver.
Despite her previous success, this was completely new territory for the new racing driver, and she had to build her way up and lift herself up by her bootstraps. Just one year after joining NASCAR, she managed to finish in 20th place in the NASCAR All-Prof Series. The racer has made 16 starts so far and even finished in the top ten once.
Shannon McIntosh has an impressive career having secured herself a couple of impressive scores and victories. Her two best finishes were both in eighth place: one in the 2011 USF2000 National Championship and another one in the same series.
Outside of racing, McIntosh frequently writes for eBay Motors Blog and has recently been named “Someone to Watch” and a racing Up and Comer by the Tampa Bay Business Journal. We’re definitely looking to see more of what this talented and dedicated driver does with her career, both in terms of racing and in her business ventures. There’s no doubt in our minds that she’ll manage to impress us on both accounts.
Shauntia Latrice "Tia" Norfleet is one of America's most prominent female race car drivers. As the daughter of former NASCAR driver Bobby Norfleet, she had already shown an interest in the racing profession from the age of seven.
Tia says that she began competing in kart racing events at age 14, and by 24 she was already competing in entry-level Bandolero racing competitions. After that, Norfleet became the world's first African-American driver to purchase a NASCAR racing license, but this is where things get a little freaky.
Paige Decker, Claire’s sister, also joined NASCAR at about the same time. Decker was named a NASCAR Drive for Diversity driver in 2014. Prior to that, she became the first woman and rookie to win the TUNDRA Super Late Model Tour at the Golden Sands Speedway event. Although she fared a bit better than her sister at the whole NASCAR experience, her time in the sport was also short-lived and ended in the same year as well.
The two sisters were joined by their cousin, Natalie Decker, who also managed to get into the NASCAR races through their Drive for Diversity program. Natalie was the most successful one of the three family members and continues racing to this day.
Erin Crocker began racing at just 7 years old and was winning Mini Sports competitions by the time she hit her first teen years. When Crocker transitioned into professional racing, her first race was the World of Outlaws. She was quickly noticed and after winning five races she earned a National Sprint Car Hall of Fame Outstanding Newcomer Award.
In 2006, she began racing full-time for NASCAR. Crocker has an impressive record which includes over 39 races in both stock car and truck races. Crocker is currently married to former auto racing crew chief Ray Evernham, who was her former boss and team owner. Needless to say, he had a major impact on her and her racing career. She has since retired from racing and became a broadcaster for SPEED in 2008.
Imagine being a professional NASCAR driver at a time when women were expected to stay at home and take care of the children. For Sara Christian, this was not an option. She spent years working hard to become the world’s first female NASCAR driver. By 1949, she drove her Ford at the Charlotte Speedway and finished in 13th place. She raced for a total of two years, starting in 1949 and finishing her racing career in 1950.
In 1949, the first female NASCAR driver competed in six out of eight events during her first and only full year. She came out in 13th place in the finals for that year. Also in 1949, Christian received the United States Drivers Association Woman Driver of the Year award. Later in 2004, Sara Christian was inducted into the Georgia Automobile Racing Hall of Fame. Our next driver actually began her career as a model, and became a NASCAR driver when she discovered her passion for racing…
Clair Decker actually comes from a family of snowmobile racers. However, the athlete managed to get herself into the prestigious NASCAR sport through its Drive for Diversity program. The program's purpose is to attract females and other minorities to participate as drivers, owners, sponsors, and crew members in NASCAR, which is largely dominated today by men.
Decker has participated in two major NASCAR events throughout her career. These include the Xfinity Series and the Camping World Truck Series. In 2016 she finished in the 105th position during her only year in the sport and eventually stopped attending after her achievements were not where she wished they could be.
When it comes to sacrifices, hard work, and making it big, no female success story in the sport of NASCAR quite compares to that of Danica Patrick. She is the most successful woman in the history of American open-wheel racing and is the only woman to ever win an IndyCar Series race. Patrick was born in 1982 in Beloit, Wisconsin to a working-class family, and showed an interest in the sport since age ten.
In 1998, she made an extremely bold move and dropped out of high school to pursue a NASCAR career. By 2005, she was named the IndyCar Series’ “Rookie of the Year.” Just five years later, Danica Patrick already began racing in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. She officially retired last year and left behind her a legacy that will inspire many women for years to come. Patrick is also a highly successful business owner, which makes her a true superwoman. Our next driver is one of the most highly awarded NASCAR drivers of all time, and achieved that and more despite having multiple sclerosis…
In every competitive sport, you have certain rare individuals who stand shoulders above the rest. Rare athletes exist in each and every different sport such as Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, and Tom Brady, each in their respective fields. In the NASCAR female racing gang, the clear winner is Patty Moise. She began racing at age 16 and made her official debut at age 26 in the Busch Series. Moise won the top four ten times throughout her 133 races, which made her the top female NASCAR driver of all time.
Patty Moise is married to former fellow NASCAR driver, Elton Sawyer, who is currently Vice president of a division in NASCAR. Back in her glory days, Moise was one of the most sought-after race drivers in NASCAR and was often photographed leaning out of her car with her beautiful curly hair and dazzling smile.
American NASCAR driver Caitlin Shaw is the world's second woman to ever compete in NASCAR's top three series. She's also the only woman from New Mexico to ever compete in any of NASCAR's top three series. In 2008, Shaw gained widespread recognition when she was invited to her first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Test. So far, the young driver had participated in two major NASCAR events, the 2009 and 2010 Camping World Truck Series, where she placed 24th and 30th respectively.
Caitlin Shaw has quite an interesting career in her field of racing and even became the inaugural United States Spokeswoman for the International Online Magazine GirlRacer.co.uk. She’s an avid supporter of women's rights and equality, and advocates for women to participate in sports. Shaw is currently working part-time at Michael Waltrip Racing, a stock car racing team, where she is in charge of their Communications and Marketing divisions.
Jessica Brunelli is one of the most stunning women in NASCAR and has one of the more promising careers out of the sport’s many younger female drivers. She began her infatuation with car racing at a very young age, when she would drive anything she could get her hands on, from quads to modified vehicles. By age seven, she was already racing in amateur competitions and proceeded to win two regional championships.
When Jessica Brunelli debuted in 2009 at the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Modified division in Roseville, California, she managed to win third place with ten top-fives and thirteen top tens. This excellent debut earned her the Rookie of the Year title, which is hopefully just the start of a very long, exciting, and empowering NASCAR racing career.
Former Scottish race car driver Susie Wolff has driven everything from Formula One cars to Mercedes racing vehicles. She was most active as a go-kart racer in 1997, when she began competing in karting categories and winning most of them. Wolff was quite popular from a very young age and was named British Woman Kart Racing Driver of the year twice. She made the leap to Formula Renault racing from 2001 to 2004 and graduated to Formula Three in 2005.
From there, Susie Wolff’s career kept going up and up, and she joined the Venturi Formula E Team last year, while also becoming a shareholder of the team. In 2013, Wolff was awarded an Honorary Fellowship at the University of Edinburgh for "her role as an ambassador for women in sport." In 2017, She was also honored as a Member of the Order of the British Empire on the 2017 New Year Honours list for services to Women in Sport. She announced her official retirement in late 2015 and gave birth to her first son in 2017.
Mara Reyes is not only a female NASCAR driver, but she's also one of their first Latino racers. After finding success in NASCAR Mexico Series, she joined the American NASCAR Xfinity Series for one race in 2005. Since then, she has been racing in the Super Copa Telcel with Arris Group sponsorship. Mara's racing career started when she was just 10 and became official at the young age of 14.
By 2005, Mara Reyes became the world's first Latin Woman ever to drive in the NASCAR Busch Series. Her latest race also occurred that same year, when she placed eighth in the Mexican NASCAR Series with the TELMEX team. Mara is undoubtedly one of the most talented racers, and we hope that she finds success in whatever ventures she picks up after her racing career.
In 1988, Shawna Robinson didn’t just break the glass ceiling, she destroyed the entire building. Robinson was the first female to ever win a NASCAR Touring Series tournament and instantly became a celebrity for it. The talented, award-winning driver first began racing cars when she was just a child. She debuted as a NASCAR driver in 1988 and immediately showed promise with her incredible performance.
These victories got her awarded the 1988’s “Most Popular Driver” and “Rookie of the Year” awards. She then went up to the Busch Series, where she didn’t quite do as well as on her first try. Over time she lost some of her momentum and began shifting her focus towards raising a family instead. However, Shawna eventually got the itch to get back into racing and returned to the sport. She continued in NASCAR until 2005 when she retired for good.
Like so many female racers on our list, Robin McCall was primed to become a successful racing driver from a very young age. She began by competing in small races and quickly built a name for herself as a top racing contender. By 1982, she had already joined NASCAR and even got a chance to compete in the Winston Cup Series, making her the youngest woman to ever qualify for the competition.
In 1985, Robin McCall married a fellow racing driver, Wally Dallenbach Jr. They ended up having three children together, which led McCall to transition out of racing slowly, but surely. McCall has since been working as a driving instructor for auto manufacturers in driving events. The retired NASCAR driver also co-authored a book titled "Portrait of NASCAR."
They say that immigrants have the most motivation and passion to succeed out of any American, Milka Duno is definite proof of that. She was originally born in Venezuela and became an academic after arriving in the United States. She learned Marine Biology, Naval Architecture, Organizational Development, and Maritime Business, and went on to receive a master’s degree in all of these!
During her time studying, Milka Duno was also a mildly successful model. This strange mix of professions created much attention when she decided to officially become a race car driver and compete in NASCAR. She currently holds the record for the highest finish by a female driver in the 24 Hours of Daytona. Duno also wrote a Latin-English kid’s book titled "Go, Milka, Go!" which won the Best Young Adult Sports/Recreation Book award in 2009.
Mackena Bell was also a graduate of the NASCAR Drive for Diversity program but had only one official NASCAR race in the sport. She too began her love story with racing by racing go-karts at age five, moving up to Legend cars at age fourteen, and then officially car racing by age eighteen. In 2010, she competed in six NASCAR races during their Xfinity Series and failed to finish with a proper score, making it hard to consider her a serious driver.
Four years later, Bell crashed out during two races. She only had one top ten finish in her career. Needless to say, she didn't return to NASCAR after that, and instead, she began racing for Rick Ware Racing at the Phoenix International Raceway where she placed 29th.
Tammy Jo Kirk
In addition to being a highly celebrated and accomplished NASCAR driver, Tammy Jo Kirk is also a huge fan of motorcycles. She began racing these two-wheeled vehicles at the young age of nine and fell in love with the sport. Despite being very talented, Kirk faced a great deal of sexism and wasn’t allowed to race in male-dominated motorcycle competitions. The race driver was so frustrated that she decided to transition into car racing.
Tammy Jo Kirk was quickly picked up by NASCAR, and in 1991 she joined the All-American Challenge Series. Just three years later, she was already crowned the world’s most popular driver. The talented NASCAR competitor kept racing until 2003 when she decided to hang her helmet and open up a motorcycle dealership.
Jennifer Jo Cobb
Pro NASCAR driver Jennifer Jo Cobb is a fantastic example of that, as she became one of the world’s top female race drivers of all time through years of obsession with the sport.
Her first experience racing was in 1991 when her father, Joe Cobb, helped her get started as a racer. By 2002, she was already competing in racing competitions, leading her to become an official NASCAR driver just two years later. Everything about Jo Cobb’s life is related to cars and racing, which is why she holds the record for the woman with the highest points in any major NASCAR series. The veteran racing driver also owns her own successful clothing line, Driver Boutique.
Hailie Deegan is already shaping up to become one of the most popular female drivers in NASCAR. She first made history by competing and winning the NAPA Auto Parts/Idaho 208 race. In fact, Deegan was the first driver to ever win that race.
Deegan is the only female to have ever won a race in the K&N Pro Series, doing so in the 2018 and 2019 seasons. She's the daughter of Brian Deegan, the first freestyle motorcycle rider to ever manage a 360 flip during a competition. Deegan was primed from a young age to become a successful NASCAR driver, as she began riding dirt bikes at the extremely young age of seven. Her future is extremely promising, and we can’t wait to see how it’ll turn out a few years from now.
Natalie Sather was a star from a very young age. She was the second runner-up in 2003's Miss North Dakota Teen USA pageant and was also the captain of the cheerleading squad in her high school. Sather got her moment of fame as a NASCAR racer when various media publications began propping her up. For example, The Heralds had an article about her titled: "Evergreen Speedway driver shows you can still be feminine and succeed in a male-dominated sport."
Sather's claim to fame happened in 2007. At the time, she was the first female to ever win the American Sprint Car Series. Natalie also won the ASCS Midwest championship and received the Knoxville Raceway Rookie of the Year award. She was later invited to join NASCAR just two after her big win. Unfortunately, she failed to qualify for various races and crashed her car during the practice of one of the laps.
Whenever a discussion about legendary NASCAR racers starts, the name Louise Smith gets mentioned at least once. This incredible female driver began her career with NASCAR in 1949, when she decided that nothing was going to stop her from joining the sport. She didn’t only make that dream come true but went on to become one of the best race car drivers of all time.
Louise Smith, the second female NASCAR driver ever, won 38 races in her six-year career in the sport. She returned in 1971 as a sponsor for other drivers and even helped Ronnie Thomas when he was just getting started. Smith was truly the Princess Diana of NASCAR, which is why she received her iconic nickname, the “First Lady Of Racing.”
Hellé Nice used to be a very physically active person before her career in racing, and she would participate in activities such as dancing, modeling, and skiing.
It wasn't until her activities were halted by an accident that she decided to get behind the wheel. She was an idol for female race car drivers at a time when racing had just started to become a famous sport for people to enjoy safely. Her races include participation in 32 grand Prix races alongside 70 other minor races.
Lombardi was one of the first female drivers to enter the F1 racing scene when all the drivers were usually male. Her career began in 1974 and lasted till 1988, with her participating in the 17 Grand Prix Formula One Championships.
Before her retirement, she achieved the top six in a championship race. She was also the first female race car driver to win this achievement. Even after her retirement, she still remained active in the motorsports scene.
Besides being a known journalist, Denise is also one of the world's most accomplished female race car drivers. She had many trophies under her belt, including winning the 1961 Sebring 12 Hours GT and the Copa Damas during the Grand Prix Venezuela.
Her earliest winnings include the Nassau Ladies Race 1 in 1956 and the Watkins Glen Grand Prix Ladies Race in 1957. Her career as a journalist focusing on automotive also earned her many awards. In 2001, she was inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame.
Odette Siko is a female race car driver who likes to keep on going despite the numerous risks to herself from her career. During the 1933 24hrs of Le Mans, her Alfa Romeo started to burn up after an accident, but she tried to put out the fire to get back into the race.
Her career eventually ended due to the World War, but despite this, she still has standing records in endurance and speed on the Yacco Speed Trials. She is also the woman with the highest Le Mans finishers!
Ashley Force Hood
In an unconventional twist, Ashley's interest in fast cars first blossomed due to drag racing. She has won many championships to show her skill and experience as a race car driver, with her dad being a racer too.
In fact, the two would turn out to be the first father and daughter race car drivers to compete against each other in an official race! Funnily enough, she has been featured on the automotive show, "Driving Force" which also happens to be her middle name!
Simona de Silvestro
Simona is a swiss race car driver who has garnered a lot of attention for her winnings and the nicknames she earned throughout her racing career. With titles such as "The Iron Maiden" and "The Swiss Miss," she had definitely earned her spot as one of the world's top racers.
She is very respected in the racing scene, alluding to her wins in the many races she participated in. The racer is still active in the racing and motorsport scene, so she's likely to put more trophies on her shelf.
Christina Nielsen is a Danish driver who happens to be the daughter of Lars-Erik Nielsen, a fellow racing hero. Her most well-known achievement as a driver is being the first woman to win a WeatherTech sportsCar championship.
Throughout her racing career, her skills have held up throughout her many tournaments, winning second place in her first season at IMSA. In 2016, she also participated in the 12 Hours of Sebring, along with four podium finishes throughout the same year.
Sara Fisher is a race car driver who took part in the 81 Indy car race series and achieved second place on the podium as her achievement. Besides Indy racing, she was also a NASCAR racer, the most famous American racing league, between 2004 and 2005.
Due to her memory issues caused by the many injuries she's endured over her career, she's now a retired racer. However, she still gets behind the wheel often. Fisher is still allowed to drive the safety car at most Indy car races taking place.
Courtney is the sister to race car driver Ashley force and daughter of John Force, who could be seen as the reason his daughters took an interest in cars and racing. Her starting point is the same as her sister as both took an interest in drag racing.
There seems to be an interest in cars and racing runs in the family as all three members have had successful careers in the automotive racing industry. Like her sister Ashley, Courtney also has a part in the "Driving Force" driving show.
Legge is a British race car driver who has become one of the most famous and well-known racers worldwide. Her interest in cars started at a very young age and would grow into an interest in racing, leading to one of the most successful racing careers ever to hit the track.
Her achievements include the British Racing Drivers Club's Rising Star accolade along with winning the RACER Magazine Most Promising Road Racer of the Year award. She still remains active as a racer and currently resides in Atlanta.
Shirley Muldowney, also known as the "First Lady of Drag Racing," is an accomplished racer from America who even had a movie inspired by her career.
She's collected many accolades over the years including being named the Drag News Top Fuel Driver of the Year in 1976 and being the winner of the NHRA Winston points championship in 1982. She even became the first person to win the NHRA title three times over! It's no wonder that Shirley was inducted into the motorsports and automotive Hall of Fame.
Michele's career as a race driver was so long ago that it went back to a point where racing wasn't as popular in the US as it was in Europe. From 1974 to 1986, she competed in the world rally championship as a rally racer and was very good at it.
She had three wins along with a podium achievement under Audi sport which she was very proud of. Michelle took part in the German rally championship in 1986 and became the first female driver to win such a huge title.
Maryeve started racing at a very young age. Although it wasn't official at that point, it was still an achievement for someone so young. She took an interest in motorcycles from the young age of four, by eight she tried out go-kart racing and at nine, broke her arms while racing!
When she participated in the big racing leagues, Dufault decided to make NASCAR her playground. As a NASCAR racer, she would take part in many of its racing series, including Nationwide, Canadian Tire, and ARCA.
Lyn St. James
These days, St. James doesn't do much racing but she still remains an active participant in the racing world through other different means. During her active period, Lyn was the first to win the Rookie of the Year during the Indianapolis 500 in the year 1992.
She took part in racing in Le Mans and even spun her wheels into the German Nurburgring track. These days she's a motivational speaker for NASCAR races and has held up an impressive endurance racing count from past races.
The Nurburgring is a name that motorheads all over are familiar with, due to it being arguably the most famous race track in the world. This fact proves how much of a beast Sabine is behind the wheel as she earned the nickname of "Queen of the Nurburgring."
Her wins include the CHC and VLN series and the 24 Hours of Nurburgring, which she achieved twice. She even drove for Porsche and BMW and appeared in Top Gear in 2004, becoming a presenter in 2016.
Toni is a race car driver who has made history for being the first Arab-American professional racer to participate in a NASCAR race. Her years as a go-kart racer helped her build up the skills she would eventually need to be a NASCAR racer.
Toni has a mission to inspire other racers of similar origin to take the wheels as she sets her goal to become the next champion in the NASCAR cup series.
Rahel is a race car driver from Switzerland, serving as a factory racer for the German Automotive company Audi. As a racer for Audi, she took part in the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0, the International Formula Master, and the German Formula Three Championship.
Later she and fellow Swiss racer Cyndie Alleman would race in the 2010 ‘24-hour’ Le Mans series sharing the same cars. Both Swiss racers, including a third, Natacha Gachnang, were forced to retire from the race.
Born in 1985, Ana is a race car driver who took part in the Indy racing scene during her early days of professional racing. She was the first female driver to win the Indy Lights race at Nashville Superspeedway, which was also her first win.
Her second win took her to even newer heights with another record-setting achievement as she won the Indy Lights race on June 20, 2009, at Iowa Speedway in Newton. This resulted in the huge achievement of being the first female to win an entire racing event.
Mann is a British competitor in the Indycar and Indy Lights racing series and has remained a contender for some time. Due to this, she became the first woman to hold a pole position at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the Indy Lights Freedom 100.
Despite being disappointed for not making it into the lineup for the Indianapolis 500, she still used her track fame for the greater good. She used her reputation to raise money for the Susan G foundation, an organization that helps to combat breast cancer.
Handling a high-speed chase on a race track isn't the only thing Leilani specializes in, as she is also a known activist for the environment. She's raced in both the ARCA racing series and in Indy leagues throughout her career.
For ARCA, she raced in the Menards Series and later took part in Firestone Indy Lights. The Firestone race mainly served as a development series for Indy car racing for professional race car drivers.
A former equestrian enthusiast, Molly, the daughter of a rally driver herself, shifted to cars after spending time riding horses in 2005. The move turned out to be a good idea as she was the youngest person to win the Australian rally championship.
She won back-to-back championships in 2007 and 2008 in the F16 class of the Australian Rally Championships. Taylor was also the British Ladies Rally Champion becoming the only one outside the UK to capture the title.
Carmen is a Spanish professional racer born in 1988, and it seems that she has stuck to more than one racing brand. From F1 to Indy to GP3, it would seem that no league is too big for Carmen to participate in, as she has succeeded in all the brackets mentioned.
She was the 11th female racer to drive for a Formula 1 team after being chosen by Lotus to represent them. Carmen does not shy away from motorsport events as she even took part as a racer in the Le Mans series.
María de Villota
Maria was a Spanish race car driver who competed professionally but sadly isn't around anymore for others who want to catch a glimpse of her racing. Born in 1980, she is also the daughter of a former F1 driver, Emilio de Villota along with a sister to Emilio de Villota Jr, a formula racer.
It would seem that she was already recovering from severe head injuries and facial damage during straight-line testing. This testing would result in a crash which caused the already suffering racer to pass away.
Inessa can be considered a deadly combination of beauty and skill as despite being a race car driver, she is also a model. She has also earned an undergraduate degree in psychology from the Interregional Academy of Administrative Personnel in Kyiv.
When she gets behind the wheel, she likes things to get a bit bumpy as besides being a race car driver, she is also a rally racer.
Born in 1992, the young Swedish racer is currently racing for the Extreme E championship as a racer for Rosburg X Racing. The initial leap for her into the big leagues was in 2011 in the FIA Women in Motorsport's shoot-out, where she was second.
She entered Extreme E in 2021 and took part in the championship race, earning the spot of 3rd place in the whole season. In 2022 she would again take part in the championship and this time was able to win the first round of the entire season.
Esmee took inspiration from her father as a racer and started out kart racing at the young age of ten. After getting into motorsport racing, she would enter the Ginetta Junior championship, placing 15th at two out of 6 championship races in 2014.
In early 2020 she would further succeed by racing in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB with team Parker racing, winning the first four races and ending up in the championship at the end of the season. She is set to make a comeback during the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters with her current team, T3 motorsport.
Vittoria, or as she goes by now ad Vicky, is an Italian racer from Milan who began honing her craft at a young age in her home country. From 2003 to 2008, Vicky would spend her time earning a name for herself as a kart racer.
She spent most of her early years climbing the ranks to a professional racing career by moving up the racing ladder to the KF3 category. Her hard work throughout the years has paid off as she now races in the W Series as well as the Formula Renault Eurocup.
Brittany is the sister to drag racers Courtney and Ashley Force and similar to her sisters, she also races, specifically as an NHRA drag racer. Not to mention that she is also the NHRA drag racing Series top fuel dragster champion for 2017.
She began her career as a drag racer in 2013 and by 2016, earned the title of the first woman to win the NHRA Four wide nationals. At the US nationals in 2019, she became the first woman driver to be the Number 1 qualifier in Top Fuel.
Jaime is still an up-and-coming star in the world of professional race car driving but has already earned a few achievements to put her on the path to a successful racing career.
She was named the champion of the inaugural W Series in 2019, the first single-seater series for female racers. She earned three out of four wins during her races in Hockenheim and Misano which also got her three podium finishes. Following that, she earned a place in the Williams’ Driver Academy, where she could take her skills to newer heights.
Women drivers in rally racing are nothing new, but Jutta was the first woman driver from Germany to win the Dakar rally in 2001. Her initial attempt in the year 1999 wasn't as impressive as her win two years later, but she still managed to win third place.
During her attempt in 2001, which she won, she stayed ahead of the car behind her by a staggering three minutes. Her success in the Dakar rally and her previous attempts have marked her as one of the greatest rally drivers around.
Born in 1983, the Houston-raised professional racer is no slouch when it comes to taking it to the track which is clear from her numerous winnings. Her specialties mainly include her skill as a drag racer, for which she has won multiple championships due to her experience and control behind the wheel.
She won four titles in the NHRA Mello Yello drag racing series pro stock class and still competes in the series despite her winnings. She can now be found taking part in the NHRA pro modified class.
Deborah is a professional race car driver who would compete mainly for NASCAR when she was active throughout her career. She is now a former Craftsman Truck Series driver for NASCAR.
She made her debut on the round track in the years 2002-2003 in the NASCAR D Weekly series, where she could show off her skills with a high success rate. She finished in the top ten for both seasons during her two racing seasons. Also, she set a record for qualifying at Riverview Speedway.
Marie was a rally racer who wished to partake in sports car racing during a time when racing was shut down due to a premature death catching negative attention. She successfully reversed that decision, competing in most of her races with an Opel.
She was paired up with another female racer, and both scored wins in open-wheel racing challenges before the duo split up. After retiring, she transitioned into working as an F1 photographer and representing Renault as a spokesperson.
Melanie is a drag racer competing in three various racing leagues and performing well in each series she races in. She has competed in the Top Fuel, Funny Car, and Pro Modified series and has become the only woman to win in Top Fuel and Funny Car.
In 2006, she became the first driver to appear in five consecutive championship finals. This earned her the well-deserved title of Individual Sportswoman of the Year by the Women's Sports Foundation in 2006.
Shea is a triple threat as she is an entrepreneur, publicist, and professional race car driver. She is now retired and out of racing and is currently planning for a family.
During her active career, Shea helped to set a drag record alongside fellow professional racer Denise Mueller-Korenek which they succeeded in. The record was for the timed landing speed at the Bonneville Salt Flats in 2018, where both hit 183.932 miles per hour.
A professional stock car racing driver, Allis' skill behind the wheel has made other teams comfortable enough to let her drive for them as a part-time gig. Owens made her track debut in ARCA RE in 2008, racing for DGM Racing.
After 2012, she paused her racing career due to not finding a suitable sponsor and but luckily she landed a sponsorship from Obaika Racing and made her Xfinity Series debut in 2016.
If you've heard of one of the most famous race car drivers, Sterling Moss, then get ready to learn about his sister, Pat, who dominated in her field. She spent her time racing in the lady leagues of rally racing and squashed the opposition with her own skills.
She was an expert in driving cars she wasn't used to and still kept the wheels steady on the track achieving a top five overall. Moss has even written a book on driving called "The Art and Technique of Driving."
The Belgian race car driver picked up an interest in cars at a young age like most of the other female drivers on this list. She made her racing debut at the BMW compact cup in 1996 alongside Stéphane De Groodt.
After spending two years with BMW, she would move onto Renault in 1998 and scored her first podium but regrettably crashed a while later. She made her debut in Le Mans in the year 2005, where she finished in third place three times in a row.
The German-born professional race car driver, born in the year 2000, is another one of the youngest racers on this list. Despite her age, she has already competed in numerous races, including the Ginetta Junior Championship, FIA Formula 3, and formula regional European championship.
For the Ginetta Junior championship, she holds the achievement of being the youngest racer to win the title.
Vivien is a young professional racer who is also part of the Audi Sport racing academy, making her its only female member. Her debut in the Suzuki Swift cup series in 2015 helped her to become the first Hungarian racing driver with a factory connection.
She won both sprint and endurance categories in 2016 during the Central European Zone Trophy in an Audi TT. In 2018, she was the youngest female driver to finish 3rd place in the GT4 championships.