For very good reason, there’s a lot of buzz regarding female racers this week. Make no mistake; Danica Patrick winning the pole position at Daytona is a tremendous thing for NASCAR as a whole. But as far as female drivers go, that’s nothing new at Atlanta Motor Speedway!
Patrick competed in her first NASCAR Nationwide and Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway last Labor Day Weekend at Atlanta. Patrick has also been joined at Atlanta by another female driver – Johanna Long, who qualified 14th in the 2011 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Good Sam Club 200 at Atlanta.
At the same time, Atlanta’s storied history includes some high-water moments for woman drivers, starting with the grassroots short-track racing series on the quarter-mile “Thunder Ring,” which includes Thursday Thunder each summer.
Cindy Anderson made history in 2001, becoming the first woman to win a Thursday Thunder race at Atlanta.
Taylor Jorgensen won the 2012 Thursday Thunder Outlaws championship in dominating fashion, winning nine out of 10 races. Madeline Crane is the current Young Lions points leader in Atlanta’s Winter Flurry winter series, having won four times in four races. Also, Tina Johnson has claimed a victory in the Winter Flurry series this season.
Within NASCAR, the most notable moment came in the spring of 1994 when Shawna Robinson won the pole position for what was then the Busch Series race at AMS.
Through the years, other female drivers to race at Atlanta include Janet Guthrie, who earned one her five career top-five finishes here in 1978. Patty Moise made a pair of starts in the series now known as the Nationwide Series. Jennifer Jo Cobb has competed in both the NASCAR Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series races, and Tina Gordon was among the drivers in the first truck series event at AMS in 2004.
But it’s far more than just racing in NASCAR’s top divisions. In the Indy Car Series, Sarah Fisher had two starts within the series at Atlanta with a top qualifying effort of fifth and best finish of 11th.
No matter the driver or the series, there are no lack of current or future stars at Atlanta Motor Speedway! Catch them this summer at Thursday Thunder or at the Labor Day Weekend of NASCAR night racing, capped by the AdvoCare 500! Purchase tickets here or call 877 926 7849!