Legendary drag racers “Big Daddy” Don Garlits and Darrell “The Kid” Gwynn, who waged an epic Top Fuel rivalry for a period in the mid 1980’s, clashed once again on the grand stage last month during the NHRA Tire Kingdom Gatornationals down in Florida as they squared off in Gwynn vs. Garlits: Match Races for a Cause. Following the success of the opening bout between the two living legends, two more events this season in conjunction with the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series have been announced in addition to the three previously scheduled contests.
The Garlits vs. Gwynn: Match Races for a Cause events are designed to raise money and awareness for both the Darrell Gwynn Foundation – whose mission is to provide awareness, prevention, support, and care for victims of paralysis – and the Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing.
In Gainesville, Garlits and Gwynn lined up opposite one another for the first time in more than two decades in custom-built, Diehard battery-powered electric dragsters that replicate their 1980’s era machines.
In addition to Gainesville, both the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis and the Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Pomona were already slated to feature the Match Races for a Cause, and this week, the NHRA Supernationals in Englishtown June 2-5 and the O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Nationals in Charlotte September 15-18 have been added to the schedule.
Interestingly, the appearance at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown will mark the 25th anniversary of Garlits’ famous blowover in a race there against Gwynn back in 1986.