VIDEO EXCLUSIVE: Janet Guthrie, First Woman Driver At Indy 500, Part 2 On Arlene Hiss - uSports.org

Log In

  • Home  /
  • Videos   /
  • VIDEO EXCLUSIVE: Janet Guthrie, First Woman Driver At Indy 500, Part 2 On Arlene Hiss

VIDEO EXCLUSIVE: Janet Guthrie, First Woman Driver At Indy 500, Part 2 On Arlene Hiss

Janet Guthrie made her way into the sports history books in 1977 after becoming the first female driver to qualify for and compete in the Indianapolis 500, and her road to achieve this feat was not easy.

The 81-year-old told uSports exclusively about who has inspired her in her career and what racing fans’ reaction to her success was like over the years.

One fellow female driver Guthrie was influenced by was Arlene Hiss, the ex-wife of late 1972 Indy 500 Rookie of the Year Mike Hiss, who died in December 2018. Arlene Hiss competed with Tom Williams Racing at the 1976 Winston Cup Series.

“Arlene drove an Indy car race at Phoenix before I drove my first race at Trenton [Speedway in New Jersey],” said Guthrie. “And Arlene had been a capable sports car racing driver. She had been quite good but she found herself really in an impossible situation and the stress had to be seen to be believed.”

Guthrie continued: ” I was there at the time and basically, Arlene blew it. She was a better driver than what she showed there, but the uproar was such that she never got another chance.”

30 SPORTS FIGURES WHO DIED IN 2018 – TRIBUTE SLIDESHOW

Guthrie also recalled some of the funny chants that came from the stands while she competed at the Indy 500 and Daytona 500, but also admitted that some of the more sexist jeers made her angry.

“Get the tits out of the pits!” Guthrie revealed NASCAR fans often chanted in the 1970s whenever a female driver appeared.

Last month, Guthrie was featured in an ESPN 30 For 30 documentary called Qualified. 

Guthrie also explained the major obstacles she faced in her first professional races.

“The first year I went to Indianapolis, I didn’t make a qualifying attempt because the car wasn’t fast enough,” she said. “But my team owner made a move that was completely unprecedented for a team owner: he found someone who would let me take his car out and practice and hopefully let me make a qualifying attempt. And that someone was A.J. Foyt. Talk about pressure.”

Foyt is the only NASCAR driver in history to have won the following four major races: the Indy 500, the Daytona 500, the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Guthrie also said drivers in her time often had a rising rate rear suspension, which gave drivers “no feedback as to where the edge was.” She said that in one race, she felt that this type of suspension nearly made the tires turn into “bubble gum.”

 

Chat With uSports On Facebook! Get the latest news and interviews delivered directly to your Messenger!

Featured articles on uInterview.com

Written by Pablo Mena

Writer and assistant editor for usports.org. NY Giants and Rangers fan. Film and TV enthusiast (especially Harry Potter and The Office) and lover of foreign languages and cultures.

Latest News

Zion Williamson Expected To Miss Several More Weeks After Knee Injury

Zion Williamson Expected To Miss Several More Weeks After Knee Injury

We will have to wait and see how Zion Williamson impacts the league a little longer than just the start…

Boxer Patrick Day Dies Just Four Days After Being Knocked Out In Bout

Boxer Patrick Day Dies Just Four Days After Being Knocked Out In Bout

Boxer Patrick Day died Wednesday, just four days after being knocked out in the ring by Charles Conwell in Chicago…

Astros Beat Yankees 8-3 As C.C. Sabathia Makes Final Pitch

Astros Beat Yankees 8-3 As C.C. Sabathia Makes Final Pitch

It was all cheers and tears as C.C. Sabathia‘s made his final pitch as a Major League baseball player. As…

Joe Maddon Signs Three-Year Deal As Angels Manager

Joe Maddon Signs Three-Year Deal As Angels Manager

Joe Maddon was not going to be unemployed for long if he didn’t want to. The question was where he…

Free-Agent QB Brock Osweiler Retires At 28, Fans & Pundits Slam Him For Having Fleeced NFL Of Money

Free-Agent QB Brock Osweiler Retires At 28, Fans & Pundits Slam Him For Having Fleeced NFL Of Money

Once upon a time, QB Brock Osweiler was supposed to be the next franchise QB for the Denver Broncos after…

Bradley Beal On Two-Year, $72 Million Extension With Wizards: “D.C. Is Where I Wanna Be For The Rest Of My Career”

Bradley Beal On Two-Year, $72 Million Extension With Wizards: “D.C. Is Where I Wanna Be For The Rest Of My Career”

The Washington Wizards and guard Bradley Beal agreed to a two-year extension to his original contract worth an extra $72 million…

Browns’ Myles Garrett Says He Was Punched By “Fan” Who Asked Him For Photo

Browns’ Myles Garrett Says He Was Punched By “Fan” Who Asked Him For Photo

Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett tweeted on Wednesday about a bad experience he recently had with a fan. The…

Niners’ Joe Staley, Akhello Witherspoon Nearing Return After Injuries

Niners’ Joe Staley, Akhello Witherspoon Nearing Return After Injuries

The biggest hit the San Francisco 49ers have experienced this season is to their health. They are 5-0 with nine…

Steelers Searching For Defensive Replacements After Stephon Tuitt Goes Down With Pectoral Injury

Steelers Searching For Defensive Replacements After Stephon Tuitt Goes Down With Pectoral Injury

There’s no question that the Pittsburgh Steelers got one of the hardest schedules to begin the season. They will get…

8 QBs Assigned To New XFL Teams Including Cardale Jones

8 QBs Assigned To New XFL Teams Including Cardale Jones

In anticipation of its inaugural kick-off in February of 2020, the XFL has assigned eight quarterbacks to XFL teams; these…

Yankees Fan Attacked By Astros Fan James Warren Dinkins During Game Two Of ALCS In Houston

Yankees Fan Attacked By Astros Fan James Warren Dinkins During Game Two Of ALCS In Houston

While the Washington Nationals have punched their ticket to the World Series, the Houston Astros and New York Yankees are…

Nationals Punch Their Ticket To The World Series For The First Time In Franchise History Beating Cardinals

Nationals Punch Their Ticket To The World Series For The First Time In Franchise History Beating Cardinals

For the first time since 1933, the World Series will come to the nation’s capital. The Washington Nationals completed a…