Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Early NASCAR Women: Sara Christian

Hi folks -- every day I learn more about auto racing history, and it is absolutely fascinating what one uncovers. In reading a public relations history of NASCAR published in the early 1970's, W.E. Butterworth's The High Wind, I ran across driver Sara Christian (1918-1980). A flash in the pan, so to speak, nonetheless significant in many ways in a sport that was regarded as masculine, particularly in the immediate post-WWII era. Sara competed in NASCAR's first race at Charlotte on June, 19, 1949, qualifying 13 in a car owned by her husband, Frank Christian. Later, she competed in the second Daytona Beach Road Course on July 10, 1949, finishing 18th. Husband Frank also competed in that race, finishing 6th, and thus the couple were the only ones to compete together in a NASCAR event. Other races during 1949 followed, and Sara finished 13th in the overall point standings that year. In 1950 Sara competed in only one event, finishing 14th at the 12th race at the Hamburg, NY Raceway.

What became of Sara Christian? Did she leave a scrapbook, or other race memorabilia? We need to learn far more about this woman who played an important role in automobile history.

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