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Drag race legend ‘Big Daddy’ Don Garlits to try for another record at age 87


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Drag racer “Big Daddy” Don Garlits has set more than a few records throughout his decades-long racing career. The 87-year-old hopes that he can capture one more next week.


Garlits will be looking to break the 200 mph barrier in a battery-powered dragster on July 20 at Palm Beach International Raceway on its quarter-mile drag strip. He had previously made it to 200 mph in a Top Fuel dragster.

This won’t be the first time he’s gone for a record since retiring. Garlits, who is widely considered to be one of the most important pioneers and innovators of drag racing, set a world record with a 7.25-second pass at 185.6 mph in an electric dragster in 2014. He was 82 at the time.

The Florida resident has been a major figure in drag racing for decades, having captured 17 World Championship titles and coming away with victories in 144 national events. He was the first dragster ever to top a number of different speeds, including 270 mph. His Swamp Rat 30 dragster is enshrined at the Smithsonian Museum of American History.


He will attempt to set the record during the IHRA Summit SuperSeries bracket racing on July 20. He will make several attempts. Tickets to attend are $10 and free for kids 12 and under.




In 2014:


In 2019


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