The Women Drivers of NASCAR--Sara Christian

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

I’m a trivia buff. With all the attention on Danica Patrick, I became curious about women who blazed the racing tracks. First up, Sara Christian (1918-1980).

In her 2 year-career driving on what is now the Sprint Cup circuit, Sara Christian racked up a number of firsts:

She competed in NASCAR’s inaugural race on June 19, 1949 at Charlotte Speedway, finishing 14th.

She, Ethel Mobley and Louise drove in the second race at the Daytona Beach Road Course on July 10, 1949, making it the first race to include three woman drivers.

The Daytona race marked another unique event. Sara’s husband Frank Christian also competed, with the Christians being the only married couple to compete in a NASCAR race.

Sara was also the first woman to make a Top 10 finish. Sara finished 5th at Heidelberg Raceway in Pittsburgh, the only Top 5 finish by a woman driver in NASCAR history. At the end of the 1949 season Sara finished 13th in point standings and received the United States Drivers Association Woman Driver of the Year.

Retiring in 1950, Sara was inducted in the Georgia Automobile Racing Hall of Fame in 2004.