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Happy Birthday, 'Big Daddy' Don Garlits

Sunday, 14 January 2024

The International Hot Rod Association would like to wish a Happy 92nd Birthday to the legend among legends, 17-time World Champion “Big Daddy” Don Garlits.

The Florida native set dozens of records over his legendary career and was the first driver to surpass 200 mph in both the quarter-mile and eighth-mile. In 2019 at age 87, he set a world record of 189.03 mph for an electric dragster at Palm Beach International Raceway.

Garlits is a 10-time AHRA World Champion, four-time IHRA World Champion, a three-time NHRA World Champion and the owner of 144 national-event victories overall. His IHRA totals include 25 Top Fuel victories and 32 final-round appearances.

His Swamp Rat dragster has been long displayed at the National Museum of American History as part of the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C.  Also, the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame is located at the Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing in Ocala, Florida. 

Garlits was the first drag racer inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 1989 and eight years later into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame. Join us as we salute this true icon of the sport on his birthday.

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Summit Team Finals D6 - Thunder Valley Dragways
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Summit Team Finals D2 - Holly Springs Motorsports
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