Date published: December 17, 2010
Aspecial tribute to drag racing legend Don "the Snake" Prudhomme and to NHRA's upcoming 60th anniversary season, dubbed NHRA: Sixty Years of Thunder, opened Nov. 10 at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, the day before the 2010 season-concluding Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals.
NHRA President Tom Compton was among the many dignitaries on hand representing NHRA as it prepares to head into its 60th season in 2011.
(Right) Legends from the sport's past turned out to salute Don "the Snake" Prudhomme, including, front row, from left, engine master Ed Pink, Linda Vaughn, and former racing partner and rival Tom "the Mongoose" McEwen; back row, from left, IndyCar team owner and close Prudhomme friend Chip Ganassi; Roland Leong, in whose car Prudhomme won his first national event in 1965; Bruce Meyer; and Tommy Ivo.
One of the highlights of the opening was a panel discussion involving Prudhomme, McEwen, Leong, former crew chiefs Dale Armstrong (right), Bob Brandt, and Ivo. Former teammates Prudhomme and McEwen (below) spun great tales of their days together on the road.
Host Bill Stephens interviewed many of the famous attendees, including Leong (above), Ganassi (above right), and Vaughn (right).
Attendees also got the thrill of a vintage two-car Cacklefest, featuring the Yeakel Plymouth and Magicar Top Fuelers, which were started to the approval of all in attendance.
One of Prudhomme's famous rides, the Greer-Black- Prudhomme Top Fueler, was on display.
Testament to the drawing power of drag racing and "the Snake," the turnout at the exhibit's debut was impressive.
"The Old Master," Pink, and the oldest active Top Fuel pilot, Chris "the Greek" Karamesines, reminisced at the event.