No one has changed the world of drag racing the way Shirley Muldowney has. She broke the gender barrier, withstood discrimination, hostility, and an almost-fatal bone shattering 250 mph crash. Despite it all, Muldowney, competing in drag racing's ultimate category, Top Fuel, has achieved 18 National Championship wins and nine runner-up positions. Her reign as Queen of drag racing was temporarily interrupted in 1984 in a crash that left her near death, suffering from broken bones in all 10 fingers, a broken pelvis, and mangled legs. She endured major surgery five times, then pushed herself through 18 months of rehabilitation, just to get back behind the wheel of a 280 mph race car. Shirley has made a career of defying the odds.
Check out BIO’s original video series, American Freedom Stories, about the historic events of the Civil Rights Movement in Alabama, and the leaders and everyday heroes who fought to make racial equality a reality. Watch videos.
The Emmy Award-winning Education Department of A&E Television Networks develops educational resources for teachers. Check out some fascinating BIO BLOG articles by the education team.
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