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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.