A fighter her whole life, Shirley Muldowney faces biggest battle yet – MotorSportsTalk
Driver of the KB Racing-owned, Kalitta Motorsports-managed Top Fuel the goal of being able to bring enough money to eventually go pro. Then a couple of weeks later, we went to Joliet. . I have Shirley Muldowney as my mentor and there's Connie Kalitta, Scott Kalitta, Doug Kalitta, and Dave Grubnic. Air-freight magnate and drag-racing legend Connie Kalitta, 77, looks back on his sometimes stormy Its purpose is for maintenance of my aircraft. C/D: Do you stay in touch with [former Top Fuel driver] Shirley Muldowney?. Drag racing legend Shirley Muldowney has been a fighter her whole life. NBC Sports Gold Goal Rush Soccer 7am PST .. Plus, technological advances in the last couple of seasons, including elimination of the big When legendary team owner Connie Kalitta asked Todd to drive for him, Kalitta saw.
I was there when he started in the air freight business [Ed note: Kalitta Air], flying in the left seat.
In Their Own Words: Shirley Muldowney
He pulled a deal on me that was outrageous, and I will probably never speak to him again. It was my car; I owned it. We just lost him two years ago. He was the greatest friend I ever made in racing. He was my first friend when I moved from New York to Michigan and the most loyal friend. Pancho was great to me. NHRA fought me every inch of the way, but when they saw how a girl could fill the stands; they saw I was good for the sport.
The fans were wonderful. What am I doing holding a bouquet of flowers? No, this is I can tell by my hair. Ralph Seagraves was a great, great guy. Winston was really good to the sport and so good to me. I had Skippy for 18 years. A racer gave him to me in and I buried him in a pet park in Calabasas, California, in I hated him and he hated me. But I still respected him. I have always respected him. What, are you kidding me? He hated my guts.
They rode him terribly if he lost. Kalitta just loved it. Me with a Michelob and a pack of Salems. I never drank beer, hated the taste of it. Oh, that must be why I had the beer. We went into the last race of the year as one of four who could win the championship. We qualified ninth, which meant we had to race the number-one qualifier in the first round.NHRA driver Scott Kalitta dies R.I.P
We won the race and the title. That was the last drag race run at Ontario. This is because we have the number one on the wing.
In our number was five. We won the championship for Pioneer the very first year they sponsored me. The angrier they made me, the more pissed I was, the better I was in the car.
Driving came naturally for me. I was not afraid or unready to deal with the unexpected. I could make a decision. Nobody held my hand. They even got the color of my eyes wrong. Look at all those patches. No, the movie did not capture my life very well at all, but more importantly, I thought the movie was very, very good for the sport. I had of those posters and we burned them. Do you know what we could sell them for today? Muldowney's dragster Muldowney success met enormous opposition from those who felt drag racing or any form of motorsport, for that matter was no place for women.
Garlits has said about her: Now, if you ask who do I have the most respect for, I'd say Shirley Muldowney. She went against all odds. They didn't want her to race Top Fuel, the association, the racers, nobody She continued to race, mostly without major sponsorship, throughout the s in IHRA competition as well as match-racing events.
She returned to the NHRA towards the end of her career, running select events until her retirement at the end of Having been given a diagnosis of lung cancer prior to the event, Muldowney was later given a diagnosis of histoplasmosisa curable and non-malignant fungal infection which can mimic cancer.
And from that point, not only was a drag racing legend born, her reputation as an oftentimes hard-headed fighter of a different kind was born. And you know what? She did just that, becoming the first woman to earn a professional drag racing license, the first woman to win a national event, the first woman to win a major racing championship and the first woman to win three NHRA Top Fuel titles and a fourth in the rival American Hot Rod Association. Muldowney raced until her retirement at the end of the season, a career that spanned more than four decades, perhaps as much as a million miles of barnstorming to grudge match races in the U.
Legendary NHRA driver Shirley Muldowney to undergo cancer surgery Early Wednesday morning at a Charlotte, North Carolina hospital, the year-old Muldowney will don a hospital gown, be rolled into an operating room, will be anesthetized and wake up more than five hours later — minus her right lung.
Muldowney has Stage 2 lung cancer, discovered only recently. According to various online research studies, Stage 2 cancer victims only have about a 30 percent chance of still being alive five years after surgery. But this is not just another cancer statistic or unlucky victim.
Kalitta, Connie - Drag Racing -
This is Shirley Roque Muldowney. All her fighting over the last seven decades has been just a warm-up for the bout she is about to undergo.
Auto Imagery Ironically, when I first met her in at the U. I heard she was not only tough with fellow racers, but also with the media. Within five minutes of meeting Muldowney, all the rumors and stories of her being this quarter-mile ogre were quickly dispelled. That day was the start of a long friendship.