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.

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   A TRAILER FOR SHIRLEY 'CHA CHA' MULDOWNEY'S DOCUMENTARY ON THE BIOGRAPHY CHANNEL.

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.

Shirley Cha Cha Muldowney First Badass Woman of Drag Racing Tomboy Tarts

   MULDOWNEY WINS TOP SPOT AT A 1963 AMATEUR DRAG RACE COMPETITION HELD AT THE FONDA SPEEDWAY

Shirley Cha Cha Muldowney First Badass Woman of Drag Racing Tomboy Tarts

   SHIRLEY MULDOWNEY WINS FIRST US NATIONALS TITLE IN 1982

SHIRLEY MULDOWNEY, AS A 31-YEAR-OLD AFTER WINNING THE 1971 IHRA VICTORY

   SHIRLEY MULDOWNEY, AS A 31-YEAR-OLD AFTER WINNING THE 1971 IHRA VICTORY

Shirley Cha Cha Muldowney First Badass Woman of Drag Racing Tomboy Tarts

   HANGING OUT AT THE NHRA TRACKS, MULDOWNEY HAD A LOT OF TIME TO CONTEMPLATE HER NEXT WIN

Shirley Cha Cha Muldowney First Badass Woman of Drag Racing Tomboy Tarts

   SHIRLEY MULDOWNEY NEVER SAID “DIE”. SHE WAS A REAL WINNER FROM START TO FINISH

Shirley Cha Cha Muldowney First Badass Woman of Drag Racing Tomboy Tarts

   MULDOWNEY WAS FAMOUS FOR RUBBING HER WINS IN THE FACE OF MALE COMPETITORS. TOTAL COOLNESS!

Shirley Cha Cha Muldowney First Badass Woman of Drag Racing Tomboy Tarts

   SHIRLEY MULDOWNEY POSING WITH HER SIGNATURE BADASS 1972 MUSTANG FUNNY CAR

Shirley Cha Cha Muldowney First Badass Woman of Drag Racing Tomboy Tarts

   DOWNTIME AT THE DRAG RACES FOR SHIRLEY MULDOWNEY WHO CALLED THE TRACK HER SECOND HOME

Shirley Cha Cha Muldowney First Badass Woman of Drag Racing Tomboy Tarts

   MULDOWNEY’S FUNNY CAR WAS SO ICONIC MERCHANDISE WAS SOLD AT THESE DRAG RACES SHIRLEY PARTICIPATED IN

Shirley Cha Cha Muldowney First Badass Woman of Drag Racing Tomboy Tarts

   SHIRLEY MULDOWNEY RETIRED IN 2003. HERE SHE IS TODAY, STILL RACING WHERE SHE CAN.