This year, three exceptionally notable women from the world of motorsports — were named to the 33rd class in the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America (MSHFA). The 33rd hall class is the first with three women in the group.
Among the three talented women to make the class for 2021, the list also included one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers, Davey Allison (Stock Cars), three-time land speed record holder John Cobb (Historic), three-time NHRA Top Fuel champion Larry Dixon Jr. (Drag Racing), Indianapolis 500 and NASCAR trailblazer Janet Guthrie (Open Wheel), 2006 MotoGP World Champion Nicky Kentucky Kid Hayden (Motorcycles), legendary Indy correspondent Robin Miller (Media), seven consecutive APBA Gold Cup winner Fran Muncey (Powerboats), multi-time USAC and NASCAR champion Ray Nichels (Historic) and world class timer/scorer Judy Stropus (Sports Cars).
“The Class of 2021 is history-making in so many respects,” stated MSHFA president George Levy in a press release. “Janet Guthrie, Fran Muncey and Judy Stropus comprise the first-ever class with three female inductees. Fran joins inaugural class inductee Bill Muncey as the only husbanda-and-wife inductees. And Davey Allison, Bobby Allison and Donnie Allison join Bobby Unser, Al Unser and Al Unser Jr. as the only families with three individually inducted members.”
Respecting Women in Motorsports
Janet was the first woman to compete in the Indy 500 and Daytona 500. Not only has she paved the way for other women at top levels of racing, she was also the first woman to earn Top 10 starting positions and finishes in both the IndyCar and NASCAR Cup Series.
Before 1989 Inductee Bill Muncey died in a 1981 racing accident in Acapulco, he asked his wife Fran to continue the race team. She not only fulfilled his shoes but create great wave of success. Fran accumulated one of the greatest records as a team owner in the sport’s history — 24 wins and a record seven straight Gold Cups.
Nichels Engineering was a major force in stock car racing in the 1950s and 1960s. Nichels won titles in USAC, NASCAR, ARCA and IMCA. In 13 years of NASCAR competition, Nichels Engineering tallied 89 Top 10s, 62 Top 5s, 12 poles and 11 wins, seven at Daytona.
Best known for her expert-like ability to score and time 24-hour races without help and without a break before the dawn of computerized timing, Judy was sought out by top teams such as Penske, Bud Moore Racing, BMW, Al Holbert and Brumos Racing. Judy was also impressive off the track — as she won the 2008 AARWBA Jim Chapman Award for Excellence in Public Relations.
Honoring All American Motorsports
The MSHFA is the only hall that honors all American motorsports: cars, motorcycles, airplanes, off road and powerboats. Its mission is to celebrate and instill the American motorsports values of leadership, creativity, originality, teamwork, and spirit of competition.
Each of the MSHFA’s inductees is elected by a vote of 200 motorsports experts. Past inductees make up half of the voters.
GFG is impressed to see women being honored across motorsports — and hopes 2021 brings more accolades for girls and women in racing.