The first woman to compete in the Indianapolis 500 and the Daytona 500, Guthrie was a trained physicist who almost became an astronaut. (She worked for NASA on projects that laid the groundwork for the Apollo missions and qualified in the early rounds as a space program candidate, but was cut because she lacked a doctoral degree.) Guthrie began her racing career in Jaguars with the Sports Car Club of America and competed in her first Indianapolis 500 in 1977. She had to quit the race early because of mechanical difficulties, but finished the 1978 race in ninth place despite driving with a broken wrist.
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