May 24, 2016

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) Drag racing legend Shirley Muldowney is having surgery to remove a cancerous lung.

The 75-year-old Muldowney will have the five-hour procedure Wednesday at Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center in Charlotte. She told NHRA's website that she was diagnosed with a Stage 2 tumor in her right lung.

''I'm a fighter, always have been, and I'm going to fight this as best I can with everything I got,'' Muldowney said. ''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.''

A three-time Top Fuel champion, Muldowney was the first woman to win an NHRA race in a professional class in 1976. She won championships in 1977, 1980 and 1982.

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