Drag racing legend Don Garlits to star at Nitro Revival

The 17-time champion and pioneering Top Fuel car builder and driver is set to appear at Laguna Seca in May

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Seventeen-time Top Fuel Dragster champion Don ‘Big Daddy’ Garlits will star at the Nitro Revival at Laguna Seca across May 18-20.

The Florida-born driver and builder won 144 races across a spanning 60 years. Notably, he pioneered the rear-engine design employed by Top Fuel cars today.

Garlits was also the first driver to exceed 270mph within a ¼ mile run and, in 2014 aged 82, he set a 184mph land speed record for an electric-powered dragster.

At the Nitro Revival he will meet and greet fans, and his famed Swamp Rat III dragster will be on display. It was the first drag car to break the seven-second barrier with a 7.88-second elapsed time with Connie Swingle behind the wheel in 1961.

On the National Hot Rod Association’s top 50 drivers list voted on by a panel of experts in 2000, Garlits was ranked top.

Nitro Revival producer Steve Gibbs said: ‘We are pleased to have ‘Big Daddy’ Don Garlits, perhaps the most revered name in our sport, headlining a fantastic group of personalities that will be at Nitro Revival.

‘We look forward to the dragsters, hot rods, and people that will make this a great event. Nitro Revival will bring a unique car show with unique vehicles celebrating drag racing to an iconic facility.’

The show will also include a 'Line of Fire' mass start-up in the paddock and push start demonstrations. Drag racing personalities set to appear include Tommy Ivo, Herm Petersen, Marvin Graham, Jerry Ruth, Tom Hoover, Ed McCulloch, Tom Jobe and Richard Tharp.

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