Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Initial year of Shirley's Kids charity a real triumph for legend Shirley Muldowney


HOUSTON (Dec. 20) -- The first year of Shirley's Kids, the 501(c)(3) charity bearing the name of NHRA drag racing legend Shirley Muldowney, was a huge success with seven children and their families being helped through the generosity of charity founders Stan and Sheila Holt and several corporate and individual sponsors.

Started as a way for Muldowney to show appreciation for the less fortunate among her legion of drag racing fans, Shirley's Kids easily lived up to its goal of helping children in need at traditional stops along the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. Even with Muldowney sidelined for a few months due to her own health concerns, lives were definitely changed and the organization already is making big plans for 2017 and beyond.

Shirley Muldowney with Atlanta
recipient, Robert Tocher
"This has exceeded all my expectations," Muldowney said, "and yet there is so much more we'd like to do. I'll tell you, Stan and Sheila Holt, Nicci Gustavus, Frank Bellini and my wonderful agent Rob Geiger, they all put in a lot of work, countless hours of work, to make this happen. My job was easy, and a lot of fun, because there is nothing I cherish more than helping little children that need a lift in life.

"There's a lot of charities out there and people are so generous, but I know this one is special because every penny that comes in goes right to the kids. That's not always the case, believe me. But with Shirley's Kids, Stan and Sheila graciously cover all the costs to make sure the kids get as much help as possible. And a lot of what we gave the kids came from Stan and Sheila also."

The first "Shirley's Kid" was 12-year-old Jaeden Rossman, who is battling cystic fibrosis. He joined Muldowney for a special day at the Amalie Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla., with Amalie assisting with a $5,000 donation to the Rossman family.

Next was the instantly-lovable Kevin Bean, a 6-year-old from Charlotte, who had just completed a round of chemotherapy to help fight brain cancer. He also received $5,000, this time with the help of IDG.

Houston recipient, Tacey Raulerson
receives a check for $10,000
Along with hometown giant Pennzoil, and the Deacons of Deadwood Motorcycle Club, a 200-member strong charitable riding group in Houston, Muldowney was able to give 16-year-old Tacey Raulerson and her family a whopping $10,000 to help them retrofit their home. Tacey lost her sight due to a tumor so the Raulerson residence needed some structural adjustments, which they were able to do after Shirley's Kids funded the project.

"Everyone at Shirley's Kids truly are angels," said Tammy Raulerson, Tacey's mom. "I had been praying to God that we would somehow find a way through the financial problems we were having and a few days later He gave us Shirley Muldowney. Our lives will never be the same."

In Atlanta, Shirley's Kids and sponsor Goodyear were able to offer some fun and $5,000 of financial relief to Robert Tocher, the son of drag racing journalist Ian Tocher, who was severely injured in a top-end crash in Rockingham, N.C.

"That one really sticks out in my mind," Shirley's Kids CEO Stan Holt said. "That kid was so pure, so happy we thought of him, and he'd been through a really scary deal with his dad being so beat up by the accident. Thankfully, Ian is getting better and those two will soon be able to do all the things fathers and sons do. I just hope we were able to bridge the time gap a little for them."

Just before the Denver race, JEGS High Performance stepped up as a major sponsor of Shirley's Kids, and six-time world champion Jeg Coughlin Jr. himself helped present 4-year-old Silas Kline and his family with $5,000. That money will be used to help defray the costs associated with home schooling Silas, who is autistic.

In Indianapolis, 9-year-old Dakota Bierman-Ulm, who had just been released from Riley's Childrens Hospital, where he had been recovering from injuries suffered when his family's house burned down, joined Muldowney for a fun-filled day at the track. The family also received $5,000 to help replace many of the items Dakota lost to the fire.

Dallas recipient, Trenton Tyer with
Top Fuel Driver and Shirley's Kids supporter,  Clay Millican
The season of giving concluded in Dallas with the help of Buddy Woods' Sunset Performance Racing Engines and Danny Nelson's Racecraft Chassis. Local hero Trenton Tyer, who suffers from Perthes Disease, a rare childhood condition that affects blood flow to the hipbones, was a crowd favorite as he and Muldowney took the stage during driver intros. The Tyer family was then surprised to receive a check for $5,000 to help them with medical expenses.

"Aside from helping the kids financially, I think they all had really fun days at the races," Muldowney said. "And the professional drivers, all of them, made such an effort to say hello and spend a little time with our honored guests. Those kids got more autographs and hats then they knew what to do. It was so much fun. Our hope is we relieved their suffering a little and let them know that all of us in the drag racing family love them and want them to get better.

"Moving forward, I call on the racers and the sponsors to jump on board and help us in our mission. Clay Millican, Jim Oberhofer and all the Coughlin boys got the ball rolling so lets keep it up. We are making a difference, one child at a time, and it's staying in the drag racing family, which is important to me. I can't wait to get next season started."

On the media side of things, Dave Bowen of Let's Race Magazine has pledged his publication's support in 2017, which will include stories on each future "Shirley's Kid" along with advertising to help raise awareness for the charity.

Shirley's Kids supporter Jeg Coughlin Jr., Shirley Muldowney and 
Sheila Holt present Silas Kline and family with a check for $5,000.
  
Please visit ShirleysKids.orgMuldowney.com, and GeigerMediaGlobal.com for more information.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Shirley Muldowney has memorable return to Denver with Shirley's Kids recipient

DENVER (July 26) -- When reflecting on her return to the drag strip in support of her namesake charity, Shirley's Kids, four-time Top Fuel champion and motorsports icon Shirley Muldowney has one overwhelming memory.

Silas Kline
"My little buddy Silas was such a doll, he's going to be a real heart-breaker one day," she said, referring to the newest Shirley's Kid recipient Silas Kline. "He was so sweet to all the drivers when they came over to say hello during driver intros and that cute smile never left his face. We picked an awesome kid, for sure."

Founded by restaurateur Stan Holt and his wife Sheila, Shirley's Kids is a 501(c)(3) charity with a stated goal of helping kids in needs at various stops on the NHRA tour. It's designed as a way for Muldowney to say "thank you" to the communities that supported her and NHRA drag racing for years.

The son of (Ret.) U.S. Army Sergeant Jason Kline and his wife Aylssa of Colorado Springs, 4-year-old Silas suffers from Autism. To help the family, which includes siblings Wesley and Onaleee, prepare for the home schooling Silas will require in the coming years, Shirley's Kids presented them with a check for $5,000.

"I was contacted about being selected as a prize winner of tickets for the race and a chance to meet Shirley Muldowney," Aylssa Kline said. "We were super excited about that. Then we get there and they take us up to the starting line and the kids got to meet all the drivers and get autographs. That was way more than we expected.

"All of a sudden they call Silas up on stage with Jeg Coughlin Jr. and Sheila Holt and out comes this giant check and I was just stunned. I immediately started crying. It's such a huge deal for us and we can't thank JEGS, Lupe Tortilla, Stan and Sheila Holt and, of course, Shirley Muldowney, enough. This is a day we'll never forget. Silas already wants to go back to another race with 'Ms. Sheila.'"

In addition to meeting all of the top pros, the Klines met twin brothers Marcus and Morgan Luttrell, former Navy Seals, with Marcus the author of Lone Survivor, as well as J.R. Martinez, the former Army soldier who won season 13 of Dancing with the Stars.

"Those young men really showed Silas he can overcome anything," Muldowney said. "They inspired all of us."

Supported by companies across the racing spectrum, Shirley's Kids is underwritten by the Holts so all proceeds can be distributed to families in need. To get involved, make a contribution or to find out more about Shirley's Kid's, please visit www.ShirleysKids.org.

Shirley's Kids supporter Jeg Coughlin Jr., Shirley Muldowney and
Sheila Holt present Silas Kline and family with a check for $5,000.
The Kline family accepts the $5,000 check Shirley Muldowney and Sheila Holt.

Please visit ShirleysKids.org, Muldowney.com, and GeigerMediaGlobal.com for more information.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Drag racing legend Shirley Muldowney diagnosed with lung cancer, will undergo surgery Wednesday in Charlotte


CHARLOTTE (May 24) -- Drag racing legend Shirley Muldowney has been diagnosed with lung cancer and will undergo surgery at Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center in downtown Charlotte early Wednesday morning to remove her right lung, where a Stage II tumor has grown. Renowned thoracic and cardiac surgeon Dr. Harold Howe will lead the team performing the five-hour-long procedure.

"I urge everyone to keep up with their health and get chest X-rays as often as possible to make sure they are OK," the 75-year-old Muldowney said. "I'm a fighter, always have been, and I'm going to fight this as best I can with everything I got. Dr. Howe is the No. 1 guy in the business, and he's as ready as I am to get this thing out of me.

"I'm ready for the pain to stop. It's been getting worse the last few weeks as they did biopsies and the pre-op stress tests to make sure I was strong enough to have the surgery. Everything is good, so we're getting it done."

Muldowney began racing in the 1950s at Fonda Speedway in New York, driving a dragster built by then-husband Jack. Several years later, in 1965, she became the first woman to earn a professional NHRA license. After a few years of racing gas dragsters, Muldowney switched to Funny Car, and in 1971 she won her first major race, the IHRA Southern Nationals. She also began a long career in match races, battling all the best drivers of the era throughout the mid-1970s.

A move to the Top Fuel class in 1973 helped her burgeoning career blossom. In another major accomplishment, she became the first woman to win an NHRA race in a professional class in 1976, going to the winner's circle at the Spring Nationals in Columbus, Ohio.

The following season she earned the NHRA Top Fuel championship after becoming the first driver in the class to win three consecutive national events. It was the first time a female driver had won a major motorsports title anywhere in the world. Muldowney earned the Top Fuel crown again in 1980 and 1982, and she also earned the AHRA Top Fuel championship in 1981, her fourth major championship in a six-year period.

"The fans have always been what's kept me going, and I'm sure people will be concerned about me now," said Muldowney, who had a movie, Heart Like a Wheel, made about her life. "Well don't be; I'll be fine. There are still a lot of things left I want to do."

In lieu of flowers or cards, Muldowney is asking her friends and fans to donate to her charity, Shirley's Kids, at ShirleysKids.org. Muldowney started the charity this year and already has helped four children in need with large cash donations at races in Gainesville, Fla.; Charlotte; Houston; and Atlanta. Because of corporate support, Shirley's Kids passes through 100 percent of all donations to the children it helps.

"The most joy I've had in years has come this season working with our little team at Shirley's Kids," Muldowney said. "Stan and Sheila Mae Holt have covered all our costs so all the money we raise goes to the kids, and Rob Geiger, Nicci Gustavus, and Frank Bellini have worked tirelessly to make this thing a success.

"If people can find it in their hearts to make a donation, that would brighten my spirits immensely because I know where all the money in this charity goes: Right to the kids that need it. And believe me, we have changed some people's lives for the better.

"Thank you in advance for all the love and prayers. It all helps. My sister (Linda Roque) and niece (Betty Peek) along with Stan and Sheila are here with me, so I'm in great hands."

Because of her pending surgery and the doctor-recommended recovery and rehabilitation time, Muldowney's agent, Rob Geiger, announced that previously scheduled appearances at the NHRA national events in Englishtown, N.J., and Bristol, Tenn., will be canceled. Depending on Muldowney's health moving forward, other appearance dates will be announced on ShirleysKids.org.

Shirley Muldowney started Shirley's Kids this year and already has helped four children in need. Shirley's Kids passes through 100 percent of all donations to the children it helps.
Shirley Muldowney was the first female driver to win a major motorsports title anywhere in the world, earning the NHRA Top Fuel crown in 1977, 1980, and 1982 and the AHRA Top Fuel championship in 1981. (Auto Imagery photo)

Please visit ShirleysKids.org, Muldowney.com, and GeigerMediaGlobal.com for more information.

Monday, May 2, 2016

With support of Shell, Shirley's Kids charity makes biggest donation to date at Houston race



HOUSTON (May 2) -- Drag racing legend Shirley "Cha Cha" Muldowney welcomed 16-year-old Tacey Raulerson of College Station, Texas, into her Shirley's Kids charity Sunday during the 29th annual NHRA SpringNationals, presenting the two-time cancer survivor with $10,000 thanks to the generous donations of Shell and charity founders Stan and Sheila Holt of Lupe Tortilla Mexican Restaurants.

"God has answered our prayers and we are completely overwhelmed," said Tommy Raulerson, Tacey's mother. "When Shirley Muldowney invited us for a day at the drag races, that was such a thrill and Tacey barely slept the last few days because she's been so excited. Then they got her up on stage with Shirley, and suddenly John Chiboroski from Shell and Stan and Sheila Holt from Lupe Tortilla walk out with a giant check made out to Tacey for $10,000. I almost fainted.

"You have no idea what this means for us. It's truly going to change our lives. The air conditioner at home went out last week, and together with some remodeling we need to do to make the house a little easier for Tacey to get around, we were looking at about $5,000 in expenses. I prayed for God to help us last night, never expecting this at all, and then we come here and get this surprise. We've never felt so loved."

Tacey was first diagnosed with cancer at age 7, and although she successfully conquered the disease at that time, it left her blind. It was during her rehabilitation from that first bout of cancer when she became a drag racing fan as she realized she could hear, smell, and feel the ground-pounding acceleration of 10,000-horsepower dragsters.

Another fight against cancer came a few years later, but once again Tacey emerged victorious, and her unwavering spirit made her an obvious choice for Shirley's Kids, the 501(c)3 charity Muldowney and the Holts started earlier this year. The stated goal of Shirley's Kids is to help a child in need at each of the stops of the NHRA tour that Muldowney visits. So far, three deserving children have been named "Shirley's Kids."

"It touches your heart to be able to help these wonderful children," said Muldowney as she clutched Tacey near. "It's given my life purpose, and for companies like Shell to get involved and help us with our mission, it fills me with happiness. Thank you, thank you, thank you to Shell. Your reward is this beautiful smiling girl."

Chiboroski, marketing manager for Shell, said supporting Shirley's Kids became a priority for his company soon after they learned of the group's work. Additionally, during Sunday's check presentation to Tacey, he issued a challenge to all the other corporations involved with NHRA drag racing.

"It was an honor for us to be able to help the Raulersons and Shirley's Kids," Chiboroski said. "Shell and our Pennzoil brand have a long history of charitable contributions and our involvement in NHRA drag racing is increasing, so it was natural for us to get involved with Shirley's Kids. Now we want to challenge all the other companies involved in the sport to step up and match our contribution."

For more information, visit ShirleysKids.org.

 John Chiboroski of Shell, left, helps present a $10,000 check to Tacey Raulerson (center, with hat and sunglasses) along with, from left, Stan Holt, Shirley Muldowney, Sheila Holt, Mike Raulerson (partially obscured), and Geoff Seamon.

ABOUT SHELL LUBRICANTS
The term "Shell Lubricants" collectively refers to the companies of Royal Dutch Shell plc that are engaged in the lubricants business. Shell Lubricants companies lead the lubricants industry, supplying more than 12 percent of global lubricants volume. *The companies manufacture and blend products for use in consumer, heavy industrial and commercial transport applications. The Shell Lubricants portfolio of top-quality brands includes Pennzoil®, Quaker State®, FormulaShell®, Shell TELLUS®, Shell RIMULA®, Shell ROTELLA® T, Shell SPIRAX® and Jiffy Lube®.

*Kline & Company, "Global Lubricants Industry July 2015: Market Analysis and Assessment.

Please visit ShirleysKids.org, Muldowney.com, and GeigerMediaGlobal.com for more information.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Erica Enders to put spotlight on Shirley's Kids charity at Houston race



HOUSTON (April 27) -- Shirley's Kids, the charity headed by legendary drag racer Shirley Muldowney, will adorn Erica Enders' Elite Motorsports/Mopar Dodge at the 29th annual NHRA SpringNationals this weekend at Royal Purple Raceway.

Shirley's Kids' mission is to lend a hand to children in need in the markets where drag racing has become a part of the community.

"Shirley's Kids has already impacted the lives of two amazing kids and their families, and I'm happy to carry its logo this weekend," Enders said. "Shirley did a lot for this sport, and she continues to help others through Shirley's Kids."

The Shirley's Kids-adorned Dodge is made possible through the generous contribution of Lupe Tortilla Mexican Restaurants. None of the money donated to Shirley's Kids goes to the sponsorship of Enders' race car, as Lupe Tortilla is providing all of the funding.

Lupe Tortilla has been voted the No. 1 Tex-Mex restaurant in Texas on numerous occasions, with locations across Houston as well as San Antonio, Austin, Beaumont, Katy, and College Station.

"Stan and Sheila Holt have done so much for Shirley's Kids," Muldowney said. "I can't thank them enough for helping the kids at the races we go to, and now to see Shirley's Kids on Erica's car is icing on the cake. They are trying their best to help us spread the word so we can help more children."

Muldowney is slated to attend several NHRA national events in 2016 as Shirley's Kids continues to help children in need. The next race on her schedule is this weekend in Houston. She also will attend races in Atlanta, Englishtown, Bristol, Denver, Indy, the second Charlotte event, Dallas, Las Vegas, and Pomona, as well as the Jr. Drag Racing Western Conference Finals in Tulsa, Okla.

For more information, visit www.ShirleysKids.org.

Shirley's Kids is a 501(c)3 non-profit charity created to help children in need. Because its namesake, four-time world champion Shirley Muldowney, has lived her life in drag racing, the organization first seeks out deserving children within the drag racing community. Recipients may be struggling with medical issues or financial hardships brought on by a personal or family tragedy. Because of corporate support, 100 percent of all proceeds raised go directly to the designated children.



Shirley's Kids, the charity headed by legendary drag racer Shirley Muldowney, will adorn Erica Enders' Elite Motorsports/Mopar Dodge at the NHRA SpringNationals this weekend in Houston.
Please visit ShirleysKids.org and GeigerMediaGlobal.com for more information.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Shirley's Kids provides 'awesome' day in Charlotte for 6-year-old Kevin Bean



CHARLOTTE (April 26) -- Shirley's Kids, the charity headed by NHRA legend Shirley Muldowney, had another successful weekend in its quest to lend a hand to children in need in the markets where drag racing has become a part of the community.

Muldowney welcomed 6-year-old Kevin Bean and his family to the seventh annual NHRA Four-Wide Nationals presented by Lowes Foods on Sunday at zMax Dragway. Through a donation underwritten by Stan and Sheila Holt of Lupe Tortilla Mexican Restaurant, Shirley's Kids presented Kevin and his family a $5,000 check to help with medical expenses related to Kevin's recovery from brain cancer.

Plus, the lovable and precocious Kevin was given VIP treatment throughout the day.

"Kevin called it 'que padre,' which means 'biggest thing ever,' " his father, Jim Bean, said. "It was a complete day of shock. It will probably take a week to come down from that, a month to absorb it all, probably a year to understand it, and a whole lifetime to remember. It was quite amazing."

During driver introductions before Sunday's eliminations, Kevin was brought on stage with Muldowney, who told a crowd of 50,000 people all about Shirley's Kids. Kevin and his family were then surprised with a $5,000 check from the charity, with Muldowney telling her new friend to "take some of this and go to Toys 'R' Us and have a ball."

Kevin was a hit with the many NHRA drivers he met during the day, as he and his family spent a lot of time in the track's pit area.

"It was pretty awesome," Jim Bean said. "The racetrack, the drivers, the staff, everything. It was completely incredible. Everyone invited us in, and it was like there weren't any strangers. Jack Beckman even let Kevin help him pack his parachute, and Kevin got to play in the track's play area. It was all so awesome.

"This was probably the most excited I've ever seen him. We've been a lot of places and have seen a lot of things, but he just couldn't get over how awesome the whole deal was. It was so special."

Muldowney is slated to attend several NHRA national events in 2016 as Shirley's Kids continues to help children in need. The next race on her schedule is this weekend in Houston. She also will attend races in Atlanta, Englishtown, Bristol, Denver, Indy, the second Charlotte event, Dallas, Las Vegas, and Pomona, as well as the Jr. Drag Racing Western Conference Finals in Tulsa, Okla.

For more information or to help support the cause, visit ShirleysKids.org.

Shirley's Kids is a 501(c)3 non-profit charity created to help children in need. Because the charity's namesake, four-time world champion Shirley Muldowney, has lived her life in drag racing, the organization first seeks out deserving children within the drag racing community. Recipients may be struggling with medical issues or financial hardships brought on by a personal or family tragedy. Because of corporate support, Shirley's Kids proudly declares that 100 percent of all proceeds raised go directly to the designated children.

"I was really impressed with Shirley and her team," Bean said. "Nicci (Gustavus), Rob (Geiger), and Frank (Bellini) made Kevin's day. And I also can't wait to thank Stan and Sheila Holt in person one day. They are Kevin's angels."

Shirley Muldowney welcomed Kevin Bean and his family to the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals presented by Lowes Foods on Sunday at zMax Dragway. Shirley's Kids presented them with a $5,000 check to help with medical expenses related to Kevin's recovery from brain cancer.
Please visit ShirleysKids.org, Muldowney.com, and GeigerMediaGlobal.com for more information.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Drag racing legend Shirley Muldowney speaks on BBC World News

CHARLOTTE (April 20) -- Drag racing legend Shirley Muldowney appeared on BBC World News today, speaking with Ben Bland about comments made by Formula One Group Chief Executive Bernie Ecclestone that women couldn't handle an F1 car.
 
Muldowney is a three-time NHRA Top Fuel world champion who paved the way for female drivers in the sport. Her comments were heard in 192 million households worldwide.
 
Here is a transcript of the interview:
 
Ben Bland: A Facebook viewer wrote, saying, there are a number of sports women don't undertake because they lack the physical ability, F1 being one of them. They should remain in sports they are comfortable doing. Shirley, your thoughts?
 
Muldowney: My thoughts are, in our form of motorsport -- and I must disagree with (past F1 test driver) Susie (Wolff) only because I might be a bit partial -- the 10,000-horsepower cars that we drive, fueled by nitromethane, are in fact the fastest race cars in the world and the most demanding and the most challenging. And she mentioned several times, using the word performing. Well that's fine, you can go out there and perform for the crowd, but my motto is, not performing ... winning. That's the bottom line. That's why I'm out there. I'm not out there because I'm a woman, I'm not out there because I am trying to prove anything, and I'm not out there because I want to prove Mr. Ecclestone to be a bonehead, but winning is the bottom line. That's what it's all about.
 
Bland: I know this has generated a lot of emotion, but we should probably keep the language a little tailored.
 
Muldowney: Oh, well that's not bad language. Here in the States, that just pretty much signifies a knucklehead, someone who says some of the things I read that he said. It's pretty degrading, really. I'm a 50-year veteran in the sport of NHRA drag racing. I've won four championships (three NHRA and one AHRA) and I've had the pole position 18 times in my career, and to listen to this man just degrade everything that any other woman has done out there, myself included, is a little bit of a put-down.
 
Speed Sisters Director Amber Fares, who has made a documentary about the first all-woman race car team in the Middle East: There's a whole racing scene happening in the Middle East, and they are encouraging women to come out and race with them, and I'm thinking that if it can happen in the Middle East, then couldn't it happen anywhere else in the world?
 
Muldowney: It already has happened. It happened back in 1971 when the NHRA, the first to accept women on an equal basis, allowed me to come into the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis and get my feet wet. And I'll admit, I missed qualifying by .02 of a second -- that's a lot in our sport -- but I dug in and scratched my way from the bottom right up through the ranks and reached the pinnacle. I reached the top of our sport.
 
I wanted to go out there and teach them the right way to do it, show the fellas the way home, and no one gave me a quarter. I did it all by myself, with good people. Well, I didn't do it all by myself, I need to retract that, but with great crewmembers, and I always had my own equipment. I was the boss, and it kinda looks like I called the right shots when you look at history.
 
Bland: Shirley, I would be interested to hear you and Jutta (Kleinschmidt) compare your experiences in racing and the attitudes you encountered in racing.
 
Muldowney: Wooo, attitude? Come on over here and I'll show you some attitude because we have some very intense drivers over here. Most of them are not just drivers, they don't just show up with their helmet in one hand and a first-class boarding pass in the other. They come with their own equipment, they build their cars and engines, they maintain things, they tune it, and they drive it. They are kinda like a one-man band, and what a great job our drivers do. That's the foundation of the NHRA. You must start at the bottom and work your way on up to the top.
 
We have several ladies out there that are getting the pole position, they are winning the big races. This weekend we have the Four-Wide Nationals. That's four Top Fuel cars racing at once; that's 40,000 horsepower. It is really a sight to see, and the women that are competing know what they are doing.
 
 
 I started with the sport in its infancy and I grew with it. I was the first woman, and they hated me. They did everything they could to outwit me, to make life difficult, but you know, I didn't go to the corner and cry, I just got even. And I'll tell you where I got even: right on the starting line and on the finish line. That was my taste of glory, and I dwell on it. I love the way I did it because if I had done it any other way, I would not have made the grade.
 
Bland to Jessica King, 18-year-old from the UK also on the line: Jessica, you have the opportunity to get advice from two very inspiring role models on the line, Ms. Shirley Muldowney and Jutta Kleinschmidt; is there anything you want to ask them?
 
Jessica: How did you do it? What benefits you? How can I get to where you are?
 
Muldowney: I'll raise my hand. When you said "program" earlier, I assumed you meant sponsorship programs. (Yes) That's the hardest part, to be able to secure the funding to go out there and buy the right parts and pieces and the right components and be able to afford the people who really know what they are doing. You cannot do this all on your own. I suffered from day one with finding the money to race, but I was able to keep my head above water for 33 years in nitro racing, which is unheard of, to be able to run these cars and compete on a national level. Between personal appearances, souvenir sales, guaranteed appearance money, and winning, that is how I did it for three decades. My biggest problem always was sponsorship.
 
One thing you need to do is build relationships in this industry with everyone. Cater to the press; you don't pass on interviews, you don't not show up. These are the people who vote for Hall of Fame positions, and that is something you can take to the bank, a Hall of Fame position. I'm in 11 Halls of Fame and I'm pretty proud of that, and those where all voted by the media, so you must treat them the way they deserve to be treated.
 
Also, you might want to have rich parents or be in the right place at the right time. It's a hard thing to do, and I can't tell you exactly how to do it because that is something I was never able to achieve except with one company, Goodyear Tire & Rubber, and I had a wonderful relationship with them for 45 years. In fact, I am very proud that I was (friends with) the world racing director for Goodyear, a man named Leo Mehl. They asked me to be his presenter when he was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame, and I was just blown away. I was so excited and so impressed and I thought, "I have finally made it."
 
Please visit ShirleysKids.org, Muldowney.com, and GeigerMediaGlobal.com for more information.