Biography

Her determination culminated in victories few others can claim...
Learn more about all of Lyn's accomplishments!

Awards & Recognition
  • 2021 Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance Honoree
  • 2021 Spirit of Ford Recipient
  • 2020 Sebring Hall of Fame Inductee
  • Invited to the White House to meet Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and William Clinton
  • Sports Illustrated for Women "Top-100 Women Athletes of the 20th Century"
  • Working Woman Magazine one of “The 350 Women who changed the world between 1976-96
  • 2010 NASCAR Industry Ambassador Award
  • 2010 Automotive NewsOne of the Top 100 Women in the Automotive Industry”
  • 2009 SEMA Businesswomen’s Network Athena Award
  • 2008 Automotive Hall of Fame Distinguished Service Award
  • 2006 Northwood University Distinguished Woman of the Year
  • 2002 Office Depot Visionary Sportswoman of the Year
  • 2001 Guiding Woman in Sports Award from the National Association for Girls & Women in Sports
  • Inducted into the Florida Sports Hall of Fame
Leadership
  • RPM Foundation Ambassador (2014-2020)
  • Arizona Concourse d'Elegance Board Member
  • Automotive News "PACE Innovation Award Judge"
  • Women’s Sports Foundation President (1990-93)
  • Kettering University Board of Trustees
  • Active on the following Boards: NASCAR’s Diversity Council ,NASCAR and IndyCar Race Appeals Commissions, ACCUS (Automobile Competition Committee of the United States), North American Representative on FIA Women in Motorsports Commission, ACCUS Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Panel
  • Consumer Adviser for Ford Motor Company (1981-96)
Speaker & Author
  • Presentations & Endorsements with top American corporations, sporting authorities and business associations including: AAPR, AAPAR (American Association of Physical Activity & Recreation), Alzheimer’s Association, American Institute of Banking, California Auto Museum, Ford Motor Co., GTE, HSBC, Ingenious Technology Corp., Intact Insurance, International Jaguar Festival, JC Penney, Lifetime Television for Women, Macrovision Corp., Maserati, Merrill Lynch, NAFE, NIKE, Northern Telecom, Oakland Bay Area Junior League, Ohio School Board Association, Ronald Reagan Library, Society of Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration, Software Users Conference, Switching Gears, TEDx, US Department of Energy, US Olympic Committee, Walt Disney World, Women in Clean Energy, Yellow Freight Corporation, etc.
  • Speech topics include: "Accelerate with Lyn St. James," "Racing to the Top," "How to Create a New Future with Horsepower," "How to Break Your Personal Speed Limits," "An Incredible Journey"
  • Author of “Lyn St. James: An Incredible Journey” published in 2010 by LSJ Press (formerly Ride of Your Life”- A Race Car Driver’s Journeypublished by Hyperion in 2002)
  • Author of “Oh By The Way…A letter from my mother” published in 2005 by Sweet Pea Press
Coach & Mentor
  • Founder, Women in the Winner’s Circle Foundation, a 501c3 organization for the education, training, and advancement of women in automotive fields
  • Created the Women’s Sports Foundation Project Podium Scholarship Grant, an endowed scholarship fund
  • Created a traveling exhibit on women in racing in partnership with The Henry Ford museum.
    • The exhibit debuted in January 2009 at the Daytona 500 Experience and has toured venues such as the Arizona Science Center, Indiana State Museum, NASCAR Hall of Fame and currently (2015) resides at the Unser Racing Museum
Racecar Driver - Indy Career
  • 1992 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of The Year (first woman to win)
  • Seven Indianapolis 500 starts in nine years, including six consecutive starts (1992-97)
  • Highest qualifying: sixth - 1994 Indy 500
  • Highest finish: eleventh - 1992 Indy 500
  • Oldest Driver in the field (age 53) - 2000 Indy 500
  • Raced in 15 Indy races including CART Championship and Indy Racing League.
    • Scored 2 Top-10 qualifying spots; 1 Top-10 Finish (eighth, Orlando 1995)
Racecar Driver - National & International Highlights
  • Held 21 international and national closed circuit speed records over a 20-year period, including 225.722 mph during qualifying for the 1995 Indy 500
  • Two 24 Hours of Daytona wins (winning GTO team driver in 1987 and 1990)
  • One 12 Hours of Sebring win - winning GTO team driver in 1990 (raced 9 times)
  • 24 Hours of Le Mans - raced twice ('89, '91) in the biggest endurance race in the world (France)
  • 24 Hours of Nürburgring class win in 1979
  • Raced in 53 SCCA Trans-Am races with 7 Top-5 finishes
  • Raced in 62 IMSA GT races with 6 wins and 17 Top-5 and 37 Top-10 finishes
  • Only woman to win an IMSA GT race driving solo (’85 Serengeti 500 at Watkins Glen International Raceway)
  • Rolex Award of Excellence, Group 2B Mazda Raceway, 2014
  • Competed in the inaugural SVRA Brickyard Invitational Pro-Am, 2014
  • Goodwood Motor Circuit Revival & Festival Meetings - competed in the legendary race in '01, '05, '06, and '07 (England)
Broadcast Personality
  • Guest appearances on The David Letterman Show (CBS), The Today Show (NBC), Good Morning America (ABC), Bob Vila Show, CNN, Lifetime, Oxygen, PBS, TNN, FOX, Speedvision
  • Sports Commentator for ESPN/ESPN2
  • Indy Car Racing Analyst for ABC
  • Pit Reporter for
    • ABC
    • ESPN/ESPN2
  • Sports Video
    • ESPN, Showtime (nominated for ACE award)
  • Co-host of Motorweek Illustrated
Media Recognition
Featured in national advertising campaigns for:

Ford - Version I, Version II, National Bank of Arizona, Rolex - Version I, Version II, Shape Magazine, Women's Sports Foundation

Featured articles in recognized publications, including: Allure, Automobile Magazine, Autosport Magazine, Beckett Media, Commerce, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Entrepreneurial Woman, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, L.A. Times, Lear’s, Life, Living Fit, More, New York Post, New York Times, People, Shape, Sports Illustrated, Sports Illustrated for Kids, Time, USA Today, Washington Post, Women’s Sport & Fitness, Working Woman

Personal Facts
Birthplace: Willoughby, Ohio

Residence: Phoenix, Arizona

Daughter: Lindsay Vargo

Granddaughter: Marley Grace

Education: Graduate of Andrews School for Girls in Ohio. Majored in business; Earned a piano-teaching certificate - the St. Louis Institute of Music

Debut in Racing: 1973 Amateur Sports Car Club of America

First Indy Race: 1992 Indianapolis 500
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