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Lyn  St. James

Lyn St. James

Racecar Driver / Activist


Lyn St. James always had a passion for cars, but it took years before her dream of driving professionally came to fruition. As a child, St. James followed her mother’s wishes to become an educated, self-sufficient woman. She attended the Andrews School for Girls in Ohio and followed a typical path, majoring in business, playing sports, and continuing to play the piano. After high school she became a piano and organ teacher and secretary at U.S. Steel Corporation in Cleveland, OH. Read More >

In 1966, St. James attended the Indianapolis 500-mile race with some friends. “I was mesmerized” she says, “it was the most incredible experience of my life.” But at that time there was no way for her to find a way to make cars her life.

After seeing the 24 Hours of Daytona she became a member of the Sports Car Club of America and attended race driving school in 1974. In 1979 she started her professional racing career in the IMSA American Challenge Series with a second place finish. St. James’s success took off after her first pro season. She acquired Ford as a sponsor, won her first professional race at Elkhart Lake, was named IMSA Camel GT Rookie of the Year in 1984, and IMSA Norelco Driver of the Year in 1985. Her success continued to grow and she won titles on the way to finishing 11th in her first Indianapolis 500 in 1992. The only woman in the race that year, St. James also took away a Rookie of the Year honors. She has competed in seven Indy 500s and 15 Indy Car races, competed at the 24 Hours of LeMans twice and most recently ran at the Bonneville Salt Flats.

St. James’s success has followed her off the racetrack as well. She helped establish Human Performance International Inc., which was devoted to personal development programs for optimizing competitive performance. She served as President of the Women’s Sports Foundation from 1990 to 1993, and created the Project Podium Scholarship grant for women in racing, and serves as ambassador for the RPM Foundation.

A published author, St. James wrote “Lyn St. James Car Owner’s Manual”, as well as “An Incredible Journey”, and has been a commentator for ESPN, Showtime, and ABC.

The top female race car driver in the world, she is an inspiring role model to millions, and is not only changing the rules for women, but redefining their roles and changing perceptions as well. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

TEDx: Create a New Future with Horsepower

Lesson from Failure

Race to the Top


Speech Topics

Ride of Your Life

Pursuit of Excellence

Race to the Top

How to Turn "No" into "Yes"

Accelerate Your Life

Connect with Lyn St. James