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First Woman Drag Racer to Sign Autographs at Ferndale Dream Cruise

Shirley Muldowney will be in the Michigan Gumball Rally area of the 2012 Ferndale Woodward Dream Cruise from 12-5 p.m. Aug. 18.

Provided by City of Ferndale.

Thirty-one years ago, Shirley Muldowney became one of sports great race drivers to win at The March Meet, one of the most traditional and oldest racing events in history. The following year, Shirley made it to the finals at The March Meet only to lose to Lucille Lee - an all-woman final, which was a first.

There were many women who broke barriers in motorsports but none were as huge as Shirley Muldowney, who was the first drag racer to win three Top Fuel NHRA Championships. Shirley was voted in the Top 5 All-time Great Drag Racers; a tribute to her tenacity as well as her talent and business acumen. Her memorabilia is still as popular as ever. Shirley Muldowney was inducted into the Motorsports Hall Of Fame in 1990.

Before she became famous with her Top Fueler, she drove a Funny Car successfully. Shirley was already famous enough that by the early 1980's, a movie was made about her called Heart Like A Wheel, with a great performance by and starring Ms. Bonnie Bedelia in 1983. A year later, Shirley would have a hellacious race crash in Montreal Quebec that broke several bones in her body and put her out of the sport for a couple of years.

Shirley Muldowney will be signing autographs in the Michigan Gumball Rally area of the 2012 Ferndale Woodward Dream Cruise. The Michigan Gumball Rally is an annual statewide road trip involving 100+ participating vehicles, traveling on over 1,000 miles of Michigan highways, stopping at Michigan landmarks, museums and race tracks during the weekend before the official Woodward Cruise.

For more information, visit www.michigangumball.com.

If you go

  • When: Noon until 5 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 18
  • Where: 2012 Ferndale Woodward Dream Cruise, Michigan Gumball Rally Area, on West Nine Mile Road, near Buffalo Wild Wings.

Source: City of Ferndale press release.

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