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Reyes On Tour:

Shirley Muldowney

story by Aaron Green, photos by Steve Reyes

Shirley Muldowney, more than likely the best female racer of all time, retired recently at Pomona, California, with her last ride in a Top Fuel Dragster. Shirley started racing in the late 1950’s with her then husband Jack Muldowney, racing street driven type cars. By the end of the 1960’s she was driving Gas Dragsters and then broke into the nitro ranks with help from Connie Kalitta in the early 1970’s. A couple of serious Funny Car fires in the early 1970’s caused Shirley to switch to Top Fuel where she made herself famous by winning three NHRA Top Fuel World Championships and one AHRA Top Fuel World Championship.

This month Reyes on Tour presents a photo tribute to the lady who broke the barriers against women in racing. Some of these vintage photos may surprise some race fans that did not know Shirley raced cars other than Top Fuel Dragsters. Shirley Muldowney raced the men on a level playing field, even up, with no handicap advantage, no weight breaks, and no favoritism because she was a “girl”, and she won a lot! Her life story was on the big screen years ago in the movie “Heart like a Wheel”. Love her or hate her, you have to admit Shirley Muldowney is without a doubt one of the greatest racers of all time, period. CN

Looking for a classic drag racing photo of your favorite car or star? Chances are Steve Reyes has it. Or if you would like a professional photo shoot with your car, you can contact Steve Reyes via e-mail at