Automotive & Aftermarket News, News & Car Culture

UPDATED: Drag Racing Legend Shirley Muldowney to Undergo Lung Cancer Surgery

Posted 05/24/16 by David Fuller
Last updated on 05/27/2016


UPDATE (May 26, 2016): Drag racing legend Shirley Muldowney is resting comfortably and talking with family members and friends a day after surgery in North Carolina to address potential lung cancer concerns, according to

In a four-hour surgery performed Wednesday at Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center in downtown Charlotte, renowned thoracic and cardiac surgeon Dr. Harold Howe removed the upper and middle lobes of Muldowney’s right lung, as well as lymph nodes and a possibly cancerous tumor that was sent for testing.

Drag racing legend Shirley Muldowney has been diagnosed with lung cancer and will undergo surgery at Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center in downtown Charlotte early Wednesday morning, according to The surgery is to remove her right lung where a Stage II tumor has grown. Renowned thoracic and cardiac surgeon Dr. Harold Howe will lead the team performing the five-hour-long procedure.

“I urge everyone to keep up with their health and get chest x-rays as often as possible to make sure they are okay,” the 75-year-old Muldowney told “I’m a fighter, always have been, and I’m going to fight this as best I can with everything I got. Dr. Howe is the #1 guy in the business and he’s as ready as I am to get this thing out of me.

“I’m ready for the pain to stop. It’s been getting worse the last few weeks as they did biopsies and the pre-op stress tests to make sure I was strong enough to have the surgery. Everything is good, so we’re getting it done.”

In lieu of flowers or cards, the three-time Top Fuel champion is asking her friends and fans to donate to her charity Shirley’s Kids, at Muldowney started the charity this year and already has helped four children in need with large cash donations at races in Gainesville, FL; Charlotte, NC; Houston, TX; and Atlanta, GA. Because of corporate support, Shirley’s Kids passes 100 percent of donations through to the children it helps.

“The most joy I’ve had in years has come this season working with our little team at Shirley’s Kids,” Muldowney said. “Stan and Sheila Mae Holt have covered all our costs so all the money we raise goes to the kids; and Rob Geiger, Nicci Gustavus and Frank Bellini have worked tirelessly to make this thing a success.

“If people can find it in their hearts to make a donation, that would brighten my spirits immensely because I know where all the money in this charity goes — right to the kids that need it. And believe me, we have changed some people’s lives for the better.”

You can learn more about Muldowney’s legendary career in the original post.
Share this Article
Author: David Fuller

David Fuller is OnAllCylinders' managing editor. During his 20-year career in the auto industry, he has covered a variety of races, shows, and industry events and has authored articles for multiple magazines. He has also partnered with mainstream and trade publications on a wide range of editorial projects. In 2012, he helped establish OnAllCylinders, where he enjoys covering all facets of hot rodding and racing.


2 responses to “UPDATED: Drag Racing Legend Shirley Muldowney to Undergo Lung Cancer Surgery”

  1. David
    Good luck with this effort.
    Involved, NOT fan, of motorsports, automotive PRODUCTION, historical events…(NY World’s Fair at age 3…drove a fresh Mustang), grew up miles from Watkins Glen International, did the planet collecting vehicles of interest NOW… then simply ones I knew about, and wanted (Hot Wheels…), sanctioned racing classes homologated. Losing friends of racing. Troubled about Shirley. Helped FORM Year One in 1983, to first palletized .

  2. Alan Crutchfield says:

    My thoughts and prayers are with her and her family. I don’the know her personally, but she is an incredible person! I just want her and her family to know many people wish her the best.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.