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When Southwest drag racing legend Paul Candies passed away last year, DRO intended at the time to do a feature on him and his cars and drivers. At that time nearly every drag racing newspaper, magazine and website did one so we decided to wait a while and then present our own, which you see here on the first anniversary of his passing.
Paul Candies and his series of dragsters, door cars and fuel coupes had a significant impact on those of us growing up in the Oklahoma, Texas and Louisiana area starting in the late 1950s until his retirement from fuel racing in the late ‘90s. The cars and drivers he and Leonard Hughes were associated with are a “Who’s Who” of the sport of drag racing. Legendary drivers like Q-Ball Wales, Leonard Hughes, Dave Settles, Leroy Goldstein, Dave Settles, Richard Tharp and Mark Oswald all did seat time and a lot of winning in racecars owned by Paul Candies.
To say that his presence in the sport will be hard to replace is a gross understatement. His cars and teams were the equal of any of his peers and often better. Just as one example of how good his teams could be, when Mark Oswald was driving their nitro flopper the team won both the NHRA and IHRA Nitro Funny Car championships in the same season and that was when all of the best nitro coupes ran both the NHRA and IHRA.
In putting together this photo tribute to Mr. Candies and his career as a race team owner we looked through all of the DRO files and reached out to one of the Candies family friends, Anthony "Chopper" Leone, for some unique photos. We hope you enjoy our photo tribute to Paul Candies and his racecars.