Shirley ‘Cha Cha’ Muldowney is the first in our series honoring women we find inspiring over here at Amanda Uprichard. Born Shirley Ann Roque in Schenectady, New York, Cha Cha Muldowney was the first woman to receive a license from the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA), at a time when drag racing was considered a man’s world. She became the first woman to win the NHRA Top Fuel championship in 1977, 1980, and 1982. She was one of the few female athletes who competed with men and beat them at their game.
Some facts about Cha Cha Muldowney:
-Her husband, Jack Muldowney, whom she married at 16, built her first dragster for her.
-She was the first person to win two and three top fuel championships.
-In 1984, she suffered a crash that broke her hands, pelvis and legs. She had to go through several surgical operations and 18 months of physical therapy. She returned to racing two years later.
-She retired from professional racing in 2003.
All photos courtesy of Shirley Muldowney’s official websiteblog comments powered by Disqus