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After complaints and consideration, on race morning, Tony Hulman recited the following: Upon the death of Tony Hulman in 1977, his wife, Mary Fendrich Hulman, became chairman of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.When she retired in 1988, her daughter, Mari Hulman George, took over and held the position until 2016." When female drivers are competing, the call has been amended to "Lady and Gentlemen..." or "Ladies and Gentlemen..." In 1977, a controversy hovered over the starting command, after Janet Guthrie qualified for the race.Speedway officials did not want to alter the traditional phrase.A." Yagle, who owned the car of 1929 winner Ray Keech.In 1935, Amelia Earhart was selected to serve as the "Honorary Referee", a ceremonial position for a dignitary at the race.She was able to pass her rookie test but suffered numerous mechanical problems during the month. She quickly reached a suitable speed; however, she did not make an attempt to qualify.On the final day of time trials, Guthrie was loaned a back-up car owned by A. Guthrie returned to Indy and qualified for the first time in 1977, and made three total starts.
However, she fell short on speed and preparation time.While not behind the wheel of race cars, women were frequently and routinely performers during the pre-race ceremonies, invited as dignitaries to attend the race, and many were employed by the track, working in the ticket office, motel, and other administrative positions.