By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
“Big Daddy” Don Garlits is considered the greatest drag racer ever. On Saturday night in Florida, the 87-year-old Garlits set a new record.
In Swap Rat 38, he went 7.22 in batteries at Palm Beach International Raceway. He went 189.03 mph in the electric dragster.
Despite that one record of 189, he was attempting to get 200 mph.
During the NHRA.TV broadcast of Saturday’s qualifying at the Dodge Mile-High Nationals presented by Pennzoil, Capco Contractors crew chief Bobby Lagana said Garlits did not get the 200 mph record that he was trying to accomplish. It is not clear what he ran in the proposed second pass.
Garlits was trying to become the first person to break the exclusive 200 mph record that has not been able to be surpassed at this time.
“The new car is 800 pounds lighter than the old car, but it’s smaller,” Garlits said to Competition Plus. “We also have a wing on it, a high wing, and a rudder like the mono-wing car. This is a whole different system with different motor, different batteries, and it’s much lighter. The car down course is trying to accelerate so fast it was spinning the tires and fishtailing all around. So I put the rudder on it, and on top of that, I put a small wing off of my car from 1985 that went 268 mph.
“That should give me enough down pressure to hold the car on the track. We don’t have the luxury of the zoomie headers on the electric motors, so there’s nothing to hold it down with. The faster you run, the harder it is to get traction. Air gets underneath the tires. Even the tires at 200 mph want to hydroplane on the air like tires hydroplane on the water — same type of deal.”
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