The woman who first joined auto racing: the notorious Louis Smith

08/30/2018

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Her life was truly an inspiring story! Check out the post below to see who she is!

For long, and even till now, there's a gender that people often think of when they hear the word "racing". After all, that sport is intense, competitive, and requires absolute focus, which describes a typical man. That's exactly what the people of the 1940s in the United State used to think.

So, in around 1946 the representative of a racing contest was looking for someone who could attract audiences to his lap track, and that needs to be a woman for the given reason. He heard of a woman named Louise Smith, a kind of outlaw who outruns the law enforcement, on a daily basis, as a way to entertain herself. She happened to live in the South Carolina, the place where his next race was held.

After countless attempts, he finally managed to persuade her to participate in the Greenville-Pickens race. In that race, she drove a Ford car and came third, an unexpected result for a woman at that time. Legend has it that she kept driving for some more rounds even when the finish line is crossed because as an outlaw, she had never encountered a checkered line before.

Louis Smith in her car

First time participating in a professional car race and she won the 3rd title!

That first time on a professional race track was not enough for her, so excited that she asked her husband to pursue the professional racing career. Her husband disproved and she had no other choice because her husband is the owner of the only car in the house and without it, she had no other way to practice racing.

So in 1947, she decided to take the vehicle without her husband's permission and drove all the way to Florida to participate in the Daytona Beach contest. She tried her best to keep it a secret but the news about her crashing the car into the pit was all over the paper. That incident did not stop her though. She then grew to be a professional racer, frequented all the track from France to Canada, to the legendary NASCAR in the United States in the next 10 years.

She was fearless as she kept coming back to races after countless crashes, one was particularly serious that cost her near 50 stitches in her body and 4 nails in the knee. The time in NASCAR was the hardest time ever for her as the man there did not like to be surpassed by anyone, let alone a foreign woman.

She decided to stop racing at the age of 40, but still sticking around in the field. She contributed to some of her favorite drivers, donated to the Darlington Raceway in Carolina and several more. She died in 2006, when she was 89 years old, leaving a legendary figure for later generations.

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