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NASCAR Winston Cup (now Sprint Cup) Official Rookie Season, 1977

Team owner: Lynda Ferreri 
Sponsor: Kelly Girl
Car: Chevrolet Laguna


 Talladega 500, May 1977


Janet Guthrie entered 19
Winston Cup races in the
1977 30-race season, 
successfully qualifying for all 19.


She qualified three times in the
Top Ten and finished four times
in the Top Ten.



Race by Race

1. Daytona 500, February 20. Guthrie was running in 8th place about ten laps from the end when her
engine lost two cylinders. She finished 12th and Top Rookie (First National City Travelers Checks
Rookie-of-the-Year prize.) Eighty-two cars were officially entered for this race, with a starting field of 42.

2. Richmond 400, February 27. Guthrie qualified 13th, finished 12th and Top Rookie. 

3. Atlanta 500, March 20. Two-thirds of the way through the race, Guthrie (though not on the lead lap)
passed David Pearson, who was leading the race. She later dropped out with a burned piston.

4. Southeastern 500, Bristol, April 17. Finished 11th. Ricky Rudd finished 10th and Top Rookie.

5. Winston 500, Talladega, May 1. Guthrie qualified 13th, ahead of Buddy Baker, Bobby Allison,
USAC Stock Car Champion Butch Hartmann, and Ricky Rudd. Because of her obligation to her Indy 500
team owner, she yielded the car to Lennie Pond at the first yellow of the race, after she had moved the car
up to 9th. The engine subsequently failed.

6. CAM2 400, Michigan, June 19. Qualified 12th, ahead of Ricky Rudd, Bobby Allison, and Bill Elliott.
Finished 26th with a cracked cylinder head, after spending some 20 laps in the pits with a broken distributor. 

7. Firecracker 400, Daytona, July 4. Broken crankshaft on 11th lap.

8. Nashville 420, July 16. First race with Jim Lindholm as chief mechanic. Qualified and finished 15th. 

9. Coca-Cola 500, Pocono, July 31. Qualified 10th, finished 11th after spinning on a flat tire.

10. Talladega 500, Aug. 7. Qualified 9th, ahead of Richard Petty, Johnny Rutherford, David Pearson,
Bill Elliott, Ricky Rudd, Neil Bonnett, Buddy Baker, and Ricky Rudd. In Turn 1 of the first lap, another
car's driveshaft came through her windshield. After it was replaced, the engine blew.

11. Champion Spark Plug 400, Michigan, Aug. 22. First Top-Ten finish (10th.)

12. Volunteer 400, Bristol, Aug. 28. Qualified 9th, finished 6th and Top Rookie.

13. Southern 500, Darlington, Sept. 5. Sandwiched practice, qualifying and race with the Ontario (Calif.)
500-mile Indy-car race, held the previous day. Was caught in the crash between Cale Yarborough and
Darrell Waltrip, but regained the race and finished 16th.

14. Capital City 400, Richmond, Sept 11. Finished 12th.

15. Delaware 500, Dover, Sept. 18. Finished 11th.

16. NAPA National 500, Charlotte, Oct. 9. Finished 9th and Top Rookie. Drafted winner Benny Parsons
and A. J. Foyt the last several laps to the finish, after passing Bill Elliott for position.

17. American 500, Rockingham, Oct. 26. Finished 9th and Top Rookie.

18. Dixie 500, Atlanta, Nov. 6. Ran 8th. Finished 16th.

19. L. A Times 500, Ontario, Nov. 20. Led laps 43-47. Waged a long battle with Bobby Allison, who
finished 7th. Cylinder head cracked at midpoint of race; engine failed 25 laps before the finish, while she
was still on the lead lap.

“Janet Guthrie: A Life at Full Throttle”

Janet Guthrie’s own account of her racing adventures   (Sport Classic Books, May 2005)
is available online at
for autographed copies, click on "Contact Us" at top.