Lyn St. James

Pioneer in World Auto Racing

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Indiana, USA  •  General Availability

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Lyn St. James dabbled in business and music studies before becoming a highly accomplished race car driver. She made her debut in racing at the 1973 Amateur Sports Car Club of America race and raced in her first Indianapolis 500 in 1992. Her career in racing has brought her opportunities to meet high political figures, to commentate racing for ESPN, ABC and other networks, and to support women in sports.

Ms. St. James has many racing career achievements, especially in the Indianapolis 500, the biggest and most important American speed race. She started the Indianapolis 500 seven times in nine years including six consecutive starts. She raced in fifteen Indy races with one top-ten finish. In her first year in the race, 1992, she was awarded Indianapolis 500 Rookie of The Year and was subsequently the first woman to win this award. That year she finished eleventh, but in 1994 she would qualify for the Indy at sixth place. During the 1995 Indy 500 qualification weekend, Ms. St. James set a world record on a closed-course for women reaching 225.722 mph. In 2000, at fifty-three years old, she was the oldest driver in the field.

Ms. St. James has also made an impression in both national and international races. She has held 31 international and national closed circuit speed records over a 20-year period and raced twice, 1989 and 1991, in the biggest endurance race in the world, The 24 Hours of Le Mans which is held in France. She had two wins in The 24 Hours of Daytona and raced in the famous 12 Hours of Sebring Endurance race, winning GTO Team driver in 1990.

Her accomplishments have allowed her to meet important people and to be seen on nearly every television show and in every magazine in America. She was invited to the White House to meet with Presidents Ronald Reagan, George Bush, and Bill Clinton. Sports Illustrated for Women selected her as one of the "Top-100 Women Athletes of the Century" and Working Woman Magazine as one of "The 350 Women who changed the world between 1976-1996". In 2001 she received the Guiding Woman in Sports Award from the National Association for Girls & Women in Sports. She has been a sports commentator for ESPN / ESPN2, an Indy Car Racing Analyst for ABC, and a Pit Reporter for ABC/ESPN/ESPN2. She has also made guest appearances on The David Letterman Show (CBS), The Today Show (NBC), Good Morning America (ABC), Bob Vila Show, and on CNN, Lifetime, Oxygen, PBS, TNN, FOX, and Speedvision.

Aside from television, she has been featured in most recognized women's publications including: More, Working Woman, Cosmopolitan, Allure, Elle, Shape, Living Fit, Glamour, Women's Sport & Fitness, Entrepreneurial Woman, Lear's, Harper's Bazaar, as well as in Sports Illustrated, Sports Illustrated for Kids, People, Time, Life, USA Today, New York Times, Washington Post, New York Post, L.A. Times and numerous other national and international publications.

She has presented and endorsed many top American corporations, sporting authorities and business associations including: Ford Motor Co., JC Penney, Lifetime Television for Women, Merrill Lynch, Yellow Freight Corporation, Northern Telecom, U.S. Olympic Committee, American Institute of Banking, GTE, Walt Disney World, NIKE, NAFE. She was a Consumer Adviser for Ford Motor Company between 1981 and 1996.

As a former President of the Women's Sports Foundation (1990-93), she currently serves on their Governance Committee and is active on the following Boards: Kettering University, Human Performance International, O'var Coming Together Ovarian Cancer Advisory Board, Indiana Fever Advisory Board, the Get Real Girl Advisory Board, Indianapolis Woman Magazine Board of Advisors, and NASCAR's Diversity Council and Race Commission, and Vice Chair of Indiana Governor's Council on Physical Fitness & Sport.

In 2003, she established the Women in the Winner's Circle, to celebrate the achievements and provide mentoring and leadership programs for women in the motorsports and automotive industries. She actively promotes the 501c3 foundation, the Lyn St. James Foundation and works on Women's Driver Development Programs in quest of training the upcoming young, talented female drivers of the New Millennium.

Lyn has written two books, Oh By The Way- A letter from my mother, which was published in May of 2005 and Ride of Your Life - A Race Car Driver's Journey, published by Hyperion in May of 2002.

Born in Willoughby, Ohio, Lyn splits her time between Phoenix and Indianapolis.


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Speech Topics

  • "The drive that leads to success"
  • "Preparation: the key to success"
  • "After the moments of defeat"
  • "What next?"
  • "Is your vision clear?"


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