Table of Contents DRO Store Classifieds Speed Connections Archives & Search Contact DRO

Words by Jeff Burk
Photos Courtesy of the Bob Plumer Collection and by Paul Robitaille

he folks at NHRA have a severe case of short-term memory loss even when it comes to celebrating historic achievements by the sport's superstars like Don Prudhomme. Never mind that they can't seem to remember the 25 years or so of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company's Winston brand sponsorship of the sanctioning body, but they also seem to have the appalling habit of erasing history with the keystroke of computer keyboard; no more Winston World Champions or records. If an accomplishment didn't happen on their watch or at one of their sanctioned tracks, well, then it just didn't happen, did it?

Tom McEwen and Prudhomme square off at the U.S. Nationals sometime in the late seventies or early eighties.

So, when Don Prudhomme got his 100th career victory as a driver and a team owner NHRA made a big to-do about it and rightfully so. It is an
accomplishment that is significant and puts Prudhomme in the elite drag racing 100 career NHRA win club with fellow Funny Car driver and team owner John Force. Although it should be noted that Force has won a NHRA races just as a driver while Prudhomme record as a driver stands at 49 NHRA wins. 

So, when the NHRA celebrated the Snake's 100th win they kind of glossed over the fact that long before his first official NHRA victory at the 1965 Winternationals at Pomona, Don Prudhomme was winning races and beating the best cars and drivers in the sport. He was
racing for almost every organization and independent national event the sport of professional drag racing had to offer. The lone exception is the IHRA and we'll leave that story for another time.

In order to give the Snake his due as well as the other members of his teams such as Ed McCulloch, Dick LaHaie, Larry Dixon, Tommy Johnson Jr., and Ron Capps -- each of whom had a lot to do with the team making the 100-win mark -- we here at DRO thought we would give you a few facts and figures about the Snake's early years as a winning racer as well as some archival photos.


Copyright 1999-2004, Drag Racing Online and Racing Net Source