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Jordan Rimpela
Jordan Rimpela Digital Editor
10/7/19 10:11 a.m.

Our $2000 Challenge Presented by CRC Industries always attracts big names–names like Andrew Nelson, who ran a blistering 9.52-second quarter-mile pass in a car built for less than $2000–but this year will be one for the record-books. 

To provide a benchmark for the drag racing portion of our three-part competition, Big Daddy Don Garlits, widely known as the father of drag racing, will hit the starting line to try and best our fastest competitors at the $2000 Challenge. And it will be a tight race, too–Garlits will be driving a Dodge Challenger Hellcat Redeye, meaning our competitors will need to bring their A-game if they want to beat the "King of the Dragsters."

As always, the $2000 Challenge is free to spectators, and returns to Gainesville Raceway Friday, October 25. Find spectator info here

Never heard of Don Garlits? Check out his biography here; it’s a seriously cool read. The $2000 Challenge is presented by CRC Industries, in association with Miller Electric and with trophies by Copart and White Pony Absorbent Products. You can learn more and register your car right here.

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Woody MegaDork
10/7/19 10:23 a.m.

Are you berkeleying kidding me, man?! Holy E36 M3.

Good get  

 (checks calendar and work schedule ...)

sleepyhead the buffalo
sleepyhead the buffalo Mod Squad
10/7/19 10:24 a.m.


Vigo MegaDork
10/7/19 10:30 a.m.

How am i the first person to upvote this? This is cool!!

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
10/7/19 10:31 a.m.

I seem to remember that passengers are allowed on the dragstrip?  Right?  



tomtomgt356 Reader
10/7/19 10:33 a.m.

Will he be doing the autocross as well?

TRoglodyte UltraDork
10/7/19 10:33 a.m.

Seems like there should be a " X seconds per $ over budget " handicap here. My money is on the Nelson bunch dollar for dollar at this venue and  I consider  Big Daddy a legendary giant in motorsports, a true pioneer that cut a wide swath. What a shootout!

Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
10/7/19 10:36 a.m.

Can he judge concourse too? I mean, he is such an innovator and game changer over the years, it would be cool for him to judge tbe challenge innovation. 

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
10/7/19 10:38 a.m.

Garlits is a busy, busy guy, so I'm not exactly sure how much of his time we'll have outside of those drag passes. But it's still the coolest thing ever that he'll be at the event, right? It's up to you all to convince him to stay for the Concours!

Floating Doc
Floating Doc SuperDork
10/7/19 11:07 a.m.

I am working, and won't be able to attend this year. Let me put a plug in for the Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing.

It's in Ocala, about a 30-minute drive down I-75 from Gainesville.

tuna55 MegaDork
10/7/19 11:09 a.m.

Wow. That's the man.

OldGray320i Dork
10/7/19 11:13 a.m.

Big Daddy is the nicest man you will ever meet. 

30 years ago I was working the front desk at the Clarion (it's now a Marriott or something...) in Ontario, CA, and most of the racers at the Winter Nationals and Winston Finals (bonus points for anyone who remembers what the product was!) stayed at the hotel, and there he was!!!

I asked Big Daddy if I could get an autograph.   He said he didn't do autographs, but he'd be happy to chat with me if I had the time.   I had one more person to help, and he waited at the end of the desk for me. 

Talked with him for about 20 min.

Couldn't tell you anything we talked about, but, to this day, I remember the warmth and friendliness given to a pin head 22 year old by THE Legend in drag racing.

I'll never forget it. Thanks Big Daddy!!!

Please tell him thank you, thank you, thank you from said pin head.

MrJoshua UltimaDork
10/7/19 11:29 a.m.

So cool!

slowbird HalfDork
10/7/19 11:32 a.m.

Wow, this is super cool.

Dirtydog Dork
10/7/19 11:38 a.m.

A big "gain" for Gainesville this year.  Having Big Daddy, will certainly draw a lot of interest into the Drag portion of the Challenge.  As I am approaching my 7th decade, he was a teenage hero of mine. Happy that he's still at it.   Maybe he can be "bribed" into judging at the Concourse.

jharry3 HalfDork
10/7/19 11:46 a.m.

Now if you could just get Shirley Muldowney...

914Driver MegaDork
10/7/19 11:50 a.m.

Wait, if you show up with a Mopar he will sign it?

TheV8Kid HalfDork
10/7/19 12:06 p.m.

This is awesome!! Can't wait.

Tony Sestito
Tony Sestito PowerDork
10/7/19 12:08 p.m.

Wow, that is awesome!

tuna55 MegaDork
10/7/19 12:17 p.m.
jharry3 said:

Now if you could just get Shirley Muldowney...



Do this. have them race.


I'm not in, but this would be the only way I'd let a pro drive my car at the dragstrip.

10/7/19 12:22 p.m.

Awesome. Already was scheming on how to get the crew to his museum just down the road. I heard that if you put a group together he would come out and do the guide thing in person.



Patrick MegaDork
10/7/19 12:27 p.m.

Of all the berkeleying years for me not to finish my primary car...

Datsun310Guy UltimaDork
10/7/19 12:28 p.m.
Jordan Rimpela said:

Never heard of Don Garlits?


Turn in your car guy card.  HGTV forum has a great thread about the Brady Bunch renovation. 

SVreX MegaDork
10/7/19 12:31 p.m.

So excited!

SVreX MegaDork
10/7/19 12:32 p.m.

Can we get him to go head-to-head with Andrew Nelson??

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