Through The Esses - Lyn St. James Mentors Fast Females
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© Andrew S. Hartwell

She has been referred to as The American Woman Racing Icon Of The Century. She was the first woman to ever win the coveted Indianapolis 500 Rookie of The Year award (1992). She has been invited to the White House to meet several presidents (Ronald Reagan, George Bush, and Bill Clinton). She was selected by Sports Illustrated for Women as one of the Top-100 Women Athletes of the Century. She has spent years as a professional presenter speaking before large audiences - from varying segments of the business community - on the merits of positive thinking and reaching for goals through preparation.

And, if she absolutely had to, she could probably still teach you how to play the piano, having earned a certificate from the St. Louis Institute of Music.

Who is this accomplished, dynamic, award winning product of the racing world? She is none other than Lyn St. James

We spoke with St. James recently and our conversation took us down several paths. And that was only fitting for this experienced racer has seen her life path take many turns, and not all of them at speed or with a wheel in her hands. And it is the travels she has taken, and the lessons learned along the way, that she has committed herself to sharing with other young racers who would like nothing more than to enjoy the kind of career St. James has enjoyed.

To have a very real and positive impact, she founded the non-profit Lyn St. James Foundation ( in 1993. From the foundation website we extracted this mission statement: The Mission of the LSJ Foundation is to provide leadership, vision, resources, and financial support in order to create an open environment for women's growth in automotive fields.

We soon learned that St. James has made it her mission to support and help guide young racers with real racing potential through the complex mix of emotions, mental diversions and stressful situations that are all a part of the world of professional racing. By sharing her experiences, and having professionals from various areas within the sport provide guidance and instruction on everything from talking to the media to landing sponsors, St. James is helping to position young talented women for a shot at real success.

But she was once a young woman on the way up in the sport herself, and so we asked her to go back in time for us and let us know how she got involved with racing at all.
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