Legendary drag racers Darrell “The Kid” Gwynn and “Big Daddy” Don Garilts will renew their mid 80’s Top Fuel rivalry this season, as they square off against one another in Diehard Battery-powered dragsters at this weekend’s NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla. to raise awareness for charity. “Garlits vs. Gwynn: Match Races For a Cause” brings the famed pair back to the quarter mile blacktop where they waged some truly epic battles against one another, most notably the 1986 Chief Auto Parts Nationals in Dallas and the NHRA U.S. Nationals that same year.
In addition to Gainesville, the Match Races For a Cause series will also take place at Indy and Pomona later this season, and are designed to raise money and awareness for the Darrell Gwynn Foundation and the Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing. After the Match Race For a Cause series concludes, both dragsters will be auctioned at the 2012 Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Auction.
Fans can also get involved by purchasing tickets to the “Track Walk For those Who Can’t,” which will take place at each of the venues hosting the event. Fans will have the opportunity to walk on NHRA tracks and meet star NHRA drivers such as Larry Dixon, Don Garlits, Robert Hight, Johnny Gray, Jim Head, Hector Arana and many others.
Chassis builder Brad Hadman has constructed a pair of electric-powered dragsters that replicate the machines these two drove back in the mid 80’s as they battled for Top Fuel supremacy, with paint schemes and sponsor decals nearly identical to the original. Garlits’ Swamp Rat XXX replica even sports the “rubber band” disc front wheels and the enclosed nose piece.
Darrell Gwynn Foundation Schedule at the NHRA Gatornationals:
Date Time Event
3/11 3:25 p.m. Garlits vs. Gwynn: Match Race for a Cause (Race 1)
3/12 2:45 p.m. Garlits vs. Gwynn: Match Race for a Cause (Race 2)
3/13 8:30 a.m. DGF Track Walk for Those Who Can’t
3/13 10:45 a.m. DGF Wheelchair Donation to Genesis Cagle
3/13 4 p.m. Garlits vs. Gwynn: Match Race for a Cause (Race 3)
Garlits vs. Gwynn: Match Races for a Cause Schedule*:
Date NHRA Event Location
March 10-13 Tire Kingdom Gatornationals Gainesville, Fla.
Aug. 31 – Sept. 5 Mac Tools U.S. Nationals presented by Lucas Oil Indianapolis, Ind.
November 10-13 Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals Pomona, Calif. *More NHRA Events hosting “Garlits vs. Gwynn” to be announced soon.