Her lawsuit lasted two and half years: in fall of 1971 the Supreme Court of Washington State ruled in her favor.
In 1972, she received her AMA Pro Racing flat track license. With lots of help from my history colleagues Bob Herrick and Greg Pearson, we pieced together her timeline and added it to my new Historic Women in AMA Racing web page.
Debbi Selden, of Tacoma, Washington, was denied an AMA Pro Racing flat track license in 1969.She filed a lawsuit that spring to convince the AMA to allow women to compete in the Pro ranks.I knew I would have to work out and get stronger muscles, to strengthen my upper body. Sometimes I would race in California and have to win the Powder Puff and then they would decide if I could race against the men. I went down for a 100cc Grand Prix in San Diego, and when I got there they told me I had to race the Powder Puff.How did people react when they found out your raced motorcycles? What was the reaction from your fellow competitors to your racing ambitions (pro and otherwise)? I showed them evidence that I raced against the men back home, but they made me race the powder puff first which I won and then they didnt want to let me race against the men. So in the Pacific NW, I was doing fairly decent, and I was getting some exposure in the local racing newspaper.And I realized that I love this; I want to do this. In a July 1968 article, you were quoted as having sent a petition to the AMA about getting a license the following year, but the AMA didnt even want to talk about it. I had a petition that was signed by every AMA National Number, 1 to 100, who supported me. Maybe they came to Castle Rock; maybe I went to Ascot or San Jose.
They had all seen me race in the 100 Exhibition race at Perris, Castle Rock, or Graham.
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At the track, no one really worried that much about me being a girl. I had taken ballet for about five years, and when the ballet teacher found out I was racing motorcycles, she told me I couldnt do that and also be in her ballet corps. I did okay, so they would print my name and add my picture. What sparked your interest in getting an AMA Pro License? So I was at a Pro flat track races every Friday and Saturday night.