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.
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.