Janet Guthrie (1938-)
Guthrie became the first female entrant into the Indianapolis 500, in 1977, qualifying at 180.4 MPH, but was forced to quit after 26 laps due to a broken valve seat. However, on May 28, 1978, Guthrie drove again to become the first woman to complete the Indianapolis 500 race. Amazingly, she drove the race with a broken right wrist (an injury from a charity tennis match) and had to reach across her body with her left hand to shift gears. Regardless, she finished the event in an impressive 8th place and was greeted by ecstatic crowds and fans. Guthrie was also a physicist and aerospace engineer.