In its first year, 1974, the Women's Motocross Nationals competition was known as the Powder Puff National Championship. Women have been steadily involved in motocross for decades, and though it took the women's event some years to be fully recognized, by the early 21st century, women's motocross events came to resemble men's events, with some high-profile racers enjoying corporate sponsorships from companies such as Honda and Red Bull. Some of the biggest female names in motocross through the decades include Sue Fish, Mercedes Gonzalez, Dee Wood, Jessica Patterson and Ashley Fiolek.
Before the advent of the Powder Puff National Championship, women struggled to find their place in the motocross world. Many events outright banned women from participating, regardless of how much skill they displayed. Though women have persisted in showing interest and skill in motocross, the industry publication "Transworld Motocross" indicates that there has been some struggle for equality and legitimacy across gender lines in the sport. Amateur women continue to display growing interest in the sport, but there is a clear separation in some fans' minds between male and female racers.