Forwards by Don Prudhomme and Andy Carter
“Finally, someone has written about this incredible period of time in drag racing history!” – Don Prudhomme
by Mickey Bryant & Todd Hutcheson Don Garlits Book R.E.D.
This is a journey thru a period of time for drag racing fastest class, top fuel dragsters. It covers a mere eighteen months, broken down in two books, Part 1, and Part 2., that together represent a miniscule portion of the sport that started in the early fifties and is going strong today. The people featured within these two separate accounts, shaped and maneuvered the sport like no other time frame in the sport’s history. They were influenced by how it was done in the past but they pushed thru technical boundaries that seemingly existed at the time to launch a new chapter that spawned the beast that we see today – the rear engine dragster (R.E.D.). If necessity was the mother of invention then its father was creativity.
The events involved in this capsule of chaos have become folk lore within the sport. Probably the most talked about two events in drag racing history become the bookends of these books. Part 1 opens with the race at Lions Drag Strip in Long Beach, Ca., March 8th, 1970 and Part 2 ends with the Indy Nationals September 7th, 1971. The events of these historic two days are chronicled and examined in detail as never before, showing what really happened at the sports most famous venues of the day, and dispelling rumors and flat out misunderstandings of what went down there.
They were also the very first and the very last race by drag racing’s most revered rear engine dragster – Don Garlits’ Swamp Rat 14.
In Part 1, we feature the March, 8th, 1970 race that put Garlits in the hospital and on the sideline. That race for him lasted only 40 feet. Part 1 ends right where the secret build of the new R.E.D. is completed and the Garlits Boys are packing up to head out west to showcase this new design. This is a complete and stand alone account of all that happened in the year 1970.
Part 2 takes you through the step by step account of this historic machine, Swamp Rat 14, and ends with the Indy Nationals September 7th, 1971, and Garlits’ astonishing elapsed time that lasted 40 years, and counting.