In the same classy manner that she dealt with things in her racing career, Janet Guthrie on Friday took a diplomatic approach to not being included on the 2020 list of nominees for the NASCAR Hall of Fame Landmark Award.
Guthrie had been on the nominee list for the Landmark Award from 2017-19 but her name was inexplicably removed from the 2020 list.
The first woman to qualify for and compete in both the Daytona 500 and Indianapolis 500, Guthrie appeared Friday morning on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio’s “Beyond Racing” show with co-hosts Angie Skinner and Kelley Earnhardt Miller.
When asked if she was surprised at not being on the nomination list for 2020, Guthrie replied: “I have no idea what the criteria are by which they choose people to be nominated for these awards.”
Guthrie’s best chance to be inducted into the NASCAR Hall would be through the Landmark Award for contributions made to the sport. Guthrie made 33 starts in the then-Winston Cup Series between 1976-80. She finished a career-best sixth at Bristol in 1977. She also had ninth-place finishes at Charlotte and Rockingham in 1977 and 10th-place finishes at Michigan (1977) and Atlanta (1978).
“What I really wish is I would have been able to compete another five years,” said Guthrie, who turned 81 on March 7. “I really think I would have won Cup races in less than the usual amount of time so that I would have been eligible for the NASCAR Hall of Fame.”
Given the fallout from fans after Guthrie’s name was not included in the 2020 Landmark Award list, her name could be placed back on the list for 2021 and beyond.
“I’d be pleased if I were nominated again,” Guthrie told Earnhardt Miller and Skinner.
Guthrie already is in other halls of fame, including the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2006 and the Sports Car Club of America Hall of Fame in 2018.
She will still be inducted into another hall of fame in a few months: she’ll be among four inductees to the Automotive Hall of Fame in Dearborn, Michigan on July 18.