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NASCAR’s First Female Driver Born 96 Years Ago this July 31

It was on July 31, 1916 that Louise Smith, the first ever woman NASCAR driver, was born. Despite never learning how to parallel park, Smith joined NASCAR back in the 1940s when it was known as being a circuit full of barnstorming drivers.

In 1949, Smith was in her most famous of crashes when her car went airborne off the side of the Occoneechee track in Hillsborough, North Carolina and knocked down a number of trees. It took rescuers 30 minutes to cut Smith out of the wreck. From 1945 to 1956 smith raced to victory in 38 modified stock races.