Shirley “Cha Cha” Muldowney was a New York native who discovered early she had a penchant for speed and competition. In fact she became somewhat of a notorious local street racer until she found her calling in drag racing. After that, all hell broke loose for this badass “First Lady of Drag Racing” whose rebellious tomboy spirit has become an inspiration not only for the current generation of women race car drivers but for women drivers all over. Here’s a snapshot of her career on the tracks.Shirley Muldowney, also known professionally as “Cha Cha” and the “First Lady of Drag Racing”, is an American auto racer. She was the first woman to receive a license from the National Hot Rod Association to drive a Top Fuel dragster.
As an extremely skilled race car driver, Shirley Muldowney was one of the first feminine women with a real badass tomboy spirit who gave the boys a run for their money. She was also the first woman to be licensed by the National Hot Rod Association and the first to drive a top fuel dragster.
During her career which spanned over 30 years, she won an impressive 18 NHRA national events. Without Shirley Muldowney, drag racing would have been a real yawn. The woman brought glam and grit to the tarmac all at the same time. Beauty is not in the eye of the beholder, it’s behind a steering wheel going at 300mph. Hell yeah!
She retired from drag racing as a champion NHRA Top Fuel drag-racer in 2003 and published her memoir “Tales from the Track” in 2005.
As great admirers of this iconic driver, we present some of the finest “Cha Cha” moments in Shirley Muldowney’s esteemed career. Rev your engines people coz it’s going to get real hot here as we burn some serious rubber.