17/7/1918 - 0/0/1980
Record updated 17-Jul-07
Sara Christian has a number of firsts: the first woman to drive in a NASCAR race, the first and only woman to record a top five finish in NASCAR with 5th at the Heidelberg Raceway in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and the first and only husband and wife to compete in the same NASCAR race.
Sara Christian was the first woman to drive in a NASCAR race. She drove in the very first Winston Cup race on the dirt track at Charlotte Speedway on June 19th, 1949, in a Ford owned and prepared by her husband Frank.
She qualified 13th, one place ahead of Sam Rice, a pre-war winner of the Daytona beach race. Later in the race she handed over to Bob Flock, whose car had retired with engine problems, and he then drove relief until the car overheaded. They were classified in 14th place.
Two weeks later she competed in a 166-mile race at the Daytona Beach Road Course finishing 18th. The 28 car field also included Flock's sister Ethel Mobley and Louise Smith which made it the first race to include three woman drivers. Frank also competed in the race, and they became the only married couple to compete in a NASCAR race. Frank finished sixth in his only career start.
She raced at Hillsborough, North Carolina where she was joined on the grid by Louise Smith, finishing 23rd and at Langhorn Speedway she came home in 6th spot, becoming the first woman to earn a Top 10 finish in NASCAR. Race winner, Curtis Turner, invited Christian to join him in victory lane. Mobley and Smith again competed against Christian in the race, the last NASCAR race to have three women drivers.
She finished fifth at the ninth race at Heidelberg Raceway in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the only Top 5 finish by a woman in NASCAR history.
She raced in six of the eight races in the 1949 season, finishing 13th in the final points standings.
She competed only raced once in 1950, finishing 14th ina race at the Hamburg Speedway before she retired.