Racer Shirley Muldowney

Celebrities, Celebrity Q&A, People
on December 25, 2005

What is racer Shirley Muldowney doing these days?
—Sally Pratt, Jamestown, Ind.

Drag racing superstar Muldowney, who in 1965 became the first woman licensed by the National Hot Rod Association, officially retired in 2003, but she still attends some NHRA racing events, serving as a sponsor rep for one of the cars on the Kalitta Motorsports team. "I spend a lot of time with the fans at the track," says Muldowney, 65, who was portrayed by actress Bonnie Bedelia in the 1983 movie Heart Like a Wheel. She's also there to support her husband, Rahn Tobler, a racing crew chief. "I miss driving, but I don't miss the travel. I have pets that I'm very close with, and I'm always in a hurry to get back to my babies." Muldowney, who resides near Ann Arbor, Mich., paved the way for all women racers and says she is very proud of winning four world championships, but most proud of winning the U.S. Nationals in 1982. "I won Indy, and if a racer doesn't have Indy as one of their credits, they still haven't done it."