Janet Guthrie at 1979 Indianapolis 500

Janet Guthrie will be honored at the 10th Women in the Winner’s Circle Awards Celebration Dec. 7 at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis.

Guthrie, who in 1977 became the first woman to start in the Indianapolis 500 and the Daytona 500, will be presented the Mildred Marcum Pioneer award. Her ninth-place finish in the 1978 Indianapolis 500, with a team she formed and managed, was the best by a woman until 2005. In 1980, she was inducted into the International Women's Sports Hall of Fame and the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2006.

Lyn St. James, a seven-time Indianapolis 500 starter, founded the Women in the Winner’s Circle Foundation in 1994 to focus on programs for driver development, advocacy, diversity and education, particularly for women who aspire to become race car drivers.

“I was racing in SCCA in Showroom Stock when Janet made the headlines at Indianapolis in 1977, and I never dreamed at the time that I would ever reach the level of Indy car racing but it certainly made an impression on me,” St. James said.

“I admired Janet’s determination and ability to stay focused during all the media hype and controversy that surrounded her, and I’ve always said by being the first she took all the bullets both straight on and in her back. And she did this after Title IX was passed in 1972 and Billie Jean King beat Bobby Riggs in 1973, so it also brought motorsports into the spotlight. I’m pleased we can honor Janet with the Mildred Marcum Pioneer Award, as she was truly a pioneer in motorsports.”

The Women in the Winner’s Circle Celebration is the foundation’s major fundraiser, celebrating the success of women in racing. For information and reservations, visit www.lynstjames.com.

Pair of 1970s Indy cars on display at Indianapolis International Airport

Two Indy cars raced by iconic drivers from the 1970s are on display at the Indianapolis International Airport as part of an exhibit that will greet visitors through October 2013 (photo below).

The Sugaripe Prune Eagle/Offy driven by 1973 Indianapolis 500 runner-up Bill Vukovich Jr. at selected events from 1972-74 and the backup Norton Spirit Penske/Cosworth driven in practice by three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Bobby Unser before the 1979 Indianapolis 500 will be showcased at the airport through April 2013, courtesy of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum.Vukovich’s car is located on Concourse B near the exit to Civic Plaza, while Unser’s car appears in the corresponding position on Concourse A. Two other historic race cars will replace those cars from April 2013 through October 2013.

Also in Indianapolis this weekend, two IZOD IndyCar Series show cars – one each for the Leaders Division and Legends Division – will be on display at the Big Ten Football Championship Fan Fest on Nov. 28-Dec. 1 at the Indiana Convention Center.

IZOD IndyCar Series drivers Graham Rahal, Charlie Kimball and Katherine Legge will help kick off the weekend Nov. 30 (7-8 p.m.) by signing autographs at the Georgia Street Tailgate Party in Indianapolis. Wisconsin and Nebraska play in the game Dec. 1 at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Drivers, teams get in final testing of year

IZOD IndyCar Series teams are fitting in the final rounds of on-track sessions before the Dec. 14 close of testing.

Drivers participating in a Chevrolet day Dec. 3 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., include reigning series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay and Marco Andretti to Andretti Autosport, championship runner-up Will Power and Helio Castroneves of Team Penske, Sebastien Bourdais of Dragon Racing and Ed Carpenter of Ed Carpenter Racing.

Fifteen drivers are scheduled to be on the Sebring International Raceway short course either on Dec. 12 or 13 or both, including Hunter-Reay and teammate James Hinchcliffe, Power and Castroneves, Scott Dixon and Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Charlie Kimball, Tony Kanaan and Simona de Silvestro of KV Racing Technology, Josef Newgarden of Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing, JR Hildebrand of Panther Racing, Oriol Servia of Panther/Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, Alex Tagliani of Barracuda Racing, Simon Pagenaud of Sam Schmidt Motorsports, A.J. Foyt Racing with a driver to be named, and Graham Rahal of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing.

Pagenaud tested Nov. 26 at Barber Motorsports Park, but the scheduled Nov. 27 date at Barber that included Rahal was rained out. Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing will make up the date Dec. 11 at Sebring.

The testing window re-opens Jan. 5, 2013. INDYCAR will announce its Open Tests schedule soon.

Special gift package for Barber race weekend

Barber Motorsports Park is offering a limited edition holiday gift package -- two tickets to the IZOD IndyCar Series Honda Indy Grand Prix set for April 7, two event-branded Tervis tumblers and more for $99.

Other ticket packages are available at www.barbermotorsports.com and immediately print from the convenience of their home. Again this year, all spectators will enjoy free on-site parking Friday and Saturday. Children 12 and under receive free general admission when accompanied by a ticketed adult.

Of note

Sonoma Raceway distributed more than 9,000 pounds of non-perishable food items to Friends in Sonoma Helping and the San Francisco and Marin Food Banks as part of the raceway's 12th Thanksgiving Food Drive. … The International Motorsports Industry Show will be consolidated with the Performance Racing Industry Trade Show for 2013 (Dec. 12-14) in Indianapolis. This year's IMIS show is Dec. 6-8 at the Indiana Convention Center.

Bobby Unser Car at Indianapolis International Airport