Don Garlits, 87, Misses 200 MPH Quarter. Sets Record Anyway

AutoInformed.com on Don Garlits at Work

Garlits at work in the old nitro methane days.

Back in a rail and racing for the first time since in 16 years, “Big Daddy” Don Garlits missed his 200-mph goal on Saturday night at Palm Beach International Raceway. However, the legendary drag-racer still set a new world record by reaching 189.03 mph with an electric dragster on the quarter-mile strip. (Don Garlits, 87, in Swamp Rat 38 Electric Rail Tries for 200 MPH Quarter Tomorrow at Palm Beach International Raceway)

AutoInformed.com on Don Garlits and Swamp Rat 38 - EV Rail

His two daughters made him “Daddy.” His numerous record rail runs made him “Big Daddy.” Garlits was the first drag racer to officially surpass the 170, 180, 200, 240, 250, and 270 miles per hour marks in the quarter mile. Now he holds the EV Land Speed record of 189.03 mph. He was aiming for 200 mph. Stay tuned.

Largely known among the smoky burnout set as the most innovative person 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.

About Kenneth 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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