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Joan Cuneo: A Fight for Fairness

Female racers matter.

Not because they are female, but because they haven't always been welcome in the starting lineup.

Over a century ago, when cars themselves were a new phenomenon, there was a female racer who held her own against the men. Joan Newton Cuneo was a wealthy New York mother in the early 1900s whose racing career began on the beaches of Ormond and Daytona, FL. However, Cuneo's career was hindered by rules that prevented her from competing in some events or from being scored or timed officially in others.

Below are clips of actual newspaper headlines and articles that covered the challenges that Cuneo encountered during her racing career.


As a female-only open wheel series stirs controversy and stock car racing seeks a female superstar to fill Danica Patrick's shoes, Cuneo's struggles remind us of how far female racers have come.

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