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  • Writer's pictureBeth

Trail Blazing in Daytona Beach

I've been thinking about this mural I had the honor of painting last year for the historic Streamline Hotel here in Daytona Beach, FL (the "Birthplace" of Nascar). The owner wanted some colorful, modern murals but with historic themes to wrap around the inside of the rooftop bar, "Sky Rooftop Bar". While I was researching the history of racing, I came across this image of Louise Smith. I found the image so striking and loved the fierce look of determination and bravery on her face along with the vintage goggles and outfit! As I read more about her, I felt that she needed to be included in a mural about racing's history.

Her first race was right here in Daytona Beach in 1949 where she rolled her parent's car that she had entered. After that, she raced for 11 years and had 38 wins, breaking nearly every bone in her body throughout that time! She was tied as the "second women" to professionally race, but is often referred to as the "First Lady of Racing". She was the first woman inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame. Literally a trailblazer! :)

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