Don Garlits, 87, in Swamp Rat 38 Electric Rail Tries for 200 MPH Quarter Tomorrow at Palm Beach International Raceway on Don Garlits and Swamp Rat 38 - EV Rail

His two daughters made him “Daddy.” His numerous NHRA and IHRA record rail runs and victories made him the legendary “Big Daddy.”

A legendary drag racing name , “Big Daddy” Don Garlits, will attempt to set a world speed record in his Swamp Rat 38 electric dragster this Saturday, July 20 at Palm Beach International Raceway, Jupiter, FL.  Garlits last raced in public in 2003. He took Swamp Rat 34 out of his drag-racing museum and set a personal best 318.54 mph at the NHRA Nationals. on Don Garlits at Work Garlits, the first man to break the 200-mph barrier in a Top Fuel dragster, is now trying to reach the 200-mph milestone in a battery-powered dragster on PBIR’s famous quarter-mile drag strip.

Garlits made a world-record run of 7.25 seconds at 185.6 mph in an electric dragster in 2014. July 20 will be his attempt to break the 200-mph barrier.

Largely known by the smoky burnout set as the most innovative racer in drag racing history with his series of Swamp Rat dragsters, the Florida native has earned 17 World Championship titles and is the owner of 144 national-event wins. His record-breaking Swamp Rat 30 is in the Smithsonian Museum of American History.  

Back when he began with two daughters, he was nicknamed Daddy. After he kept shutting down younger racers – notably the California hot rod set – a track announcer allegedly said that he should be called Big Daddy now. Talk about Big – he was the first drag racer to set a 270-mph quarter mile.

General admission tickets are $10 and children 12 and under are free. The world speed record attempt will take place during IHRA Summit SuperSeries bracket racing.

The spectator gates open at 3:00 p.m. with the first shake down of the electric dragster scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Garlits will make several runs as he attempts to set a world record.

“Big Daddy” will be on hand to meet fans and will have souvenirs available for purchase.

About Ken Zino

Ken Zino is an auto industry veteran with global experience in print, broadcast and electronic media. He has auto testing, marketing, public relations and communications expertise garnered while working in Asia, Europe and the U.S.
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1 Response to Don Garlits, 87, in Swamp Rat 38 Electric Rail Tries for 200 MPH Quarter Tomorrow at Palm Beach International Raceway

  1. Pingback: Don Garlits, 87, Misses 200 MPH Quarter. Sets Record Anyway | AutoInformed

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