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News > Sports > Indy 500 Trailblazing Car Owner Rolla Vollstedt Dies At 99

Indy 500 Trailblazing Car Owner Rolla Vollstedt Dies At 99

Vollstedt is best known for starting Janet Guthrie in the 1976 Indianapolis 500, marking the first time a woman would start the race.

INDIANAPOLIS -- A trailblazing figure in the Indianapolis 500 has died.

Long-time car owner Rolla Vollstedt died Sunday in Portland, Oregon at the age of 99. Vollstedt, who was a high-profile member of the USAC board of directors from the 60's into the 80's, is probably best known for his decision to put Janet Guthrie in one of his cars in 1976, marking the first time a women ever started an Indianapolis 500. 

Guthrie managed only 27 laps that year before her car succumbed to engine trouble. 

Vollstedt also fielded drivers such as eventual three-time NASCAR champion Cale Yarborough and two-time Formula One World Champion Jim Clark in the Indy 500.

In his many years as a car owner in the Indianapolis 500 his cars never tasted victory. 

(PHOTO: Courtesy of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway)

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