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NASCAR Hall of Fame Celebrates Women’s History Month With “Women in the Winner’s Circle” Exhibit

March 19, 2014

Special exhibit showcases six decades of women in racing including Louise Smith, Patty Moise, Danica Patrick and more

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (March 19, 2014) – Just in time for Women’s History Month, the NASCAR Hall of Fame recently unveiled its newest exhibit, “Women in the Winner’s Circle,” highlighting six decades of women in racing. 

“From drivers to administrators to car owners, this special exhibit showcases the significant role women have played in the development and evolution of NASCAR,” says Winston Kelley, NASCAR Hall of Fame executive director. “Female trailblazers like Anne B. France, who was recently nominated for the inaugural Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR, to Danica Patrick, who was the first female to win a pole at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series level, are celebrated in this limited-time exhibit.”

Originally developed by The Henry Ford museum and the Women in the Winner’s Circle Foundation, this traveling exhibit is making its first stop in Charlotte. The NASCAR Hall of Fame has also added core artifacts to the exhibit to complement the rich story of women in motorsports. Vehicles, driving uniforms, trophies and other memorabilia are on display including:

  • Louise Smith’s 1939 Ford Coupe that was raced in the Modified Division on Daytona Beach in 1950—Smith racked up 38 Modified Division and Sportsman Division wins in her 10-year career that spanned 1946-1956
  • Sara Christian’s driving uniform that she wore on Oct. 2, 1949, at Heidelberg Raceway in Pennsylvania, when she finished fifth, the best finish of any female in the Strictly Stock Division (now NASCAR Sprint Cup Series) 
  • Patty Moise’s 1990 Buick that set the all-time NASCAR speed lap record of 217.498 mph at Talladega Superspeedway on Jan. 23, 1990
  • Janet Guthrie’s  NASCAR license from 1977, the year she became the first female to compete in the Daytona 500
  • Danica Patrick’s 2013 GoDaddy Chevrolet—Patrick was first female to win a pole in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series

In addition, the exhibit includes artifacts from other former and current drivers such as Janet Guthrie, Johanna Long, Shawna Robinson and more. Influential women in NASCAR are also highlighted including Lesa France Kennedy, who serves as CEO of International Speedway Corporation and vice chairperson for the NASCAR Board of Directors.

In celebration of Women’s History Month and in conjunction with “Women in the Winner’s Circle” exhibit, the NASCAR Hall of Fame partnered with NASCAR Diversity Affairs to host a “Women in the Winner’s Circle” luncheon and panel discussion on Wednesday, March 19. Panelists included JR Motorsports Co-owner Kelley Earnhardt Miller, former IndyCar driver Lyn St. James, NASCAR VP and Deputy General Counsel Karen Leetzow and NASCAR Whelen All-American Series and NASCAR Drive for Diversity driver Paige Decker. Moderated by SiriusXM NASCAR Radio host Claire B. Lang, the panelists shared how their professional and personal experiences have helped pave the way for a new generation of women leaders in the traditionally male motorsports industry. 

The "Women in the Winner's Circle" exhibit will be on display through June. Tickets to the NASCAR Hall of Fame can be purchased by calling (877) 231-2010 or at nascarhall.com. Admission is $19.95 for adults, $17.95 for seniors and military, $12.95 for children 5-12 and free for children younger than 5. Memberships are available starting at $125. The NASCAR Hall of Fame is open daily 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. For more details, visit nascarhall.com. Updates are available at facebook.com/nascarhall or by following @NASCARHall on Twitter.

About the NASCAR Hall of Fame
Conveniently located in Uptown Charlotte, N.C., the 150,000-square-foot NASCAR Hall of Fame is an interactive, entertainment attraction honoring the history and heritage of NASCAR. The high-tech venue, designed to educate and entertain race fans and non-fans alike, opened May 11, 2010, and includes artifacts, hands-on exhibits, a 278-person state-of-the-art theater, Hall of Honor, Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant, NASCAR Hall of Fame Gear Shop and NASCAR Productions-operated broadcast studio. The venue is open 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. seven days a week and has an attached parking garage on Brevard Street. The five-acre site also includes a privately developed 19-story office tower and 102,000-square-foot expansion to the Charlotte Convention Center, highlighted by a 40,000-square-foot ballroom. The NASCAR Hall of Fame is owned by the City of Charlotte, licensed by NASCAR and operated by the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority. nascarhall.com