Friday, April 6, 2018

NHRA Legend Don "The Snake" Prudhomme Born - April 6, 1941

April 6, 1941
Don "The Snake" Prudhomme
Born in San Fernando, California, USA.
In 1962, Prudhomme was a partner in the Greer-Black-Prudhomme digger, which earned the best win record in NHRA history, before switching to Funny Car. He would win the NHRA FC championship four times in his thirty-five-year career. He earned the nickname "The Snake" in high school. He was the first Funny Car driver to exceed 250 mph (400 km/h).

Prudhomme was known for his yellow 1970 Plymouth Barracuda in which he raced rival driver Tom McEwen in his red 1970 Plymouth Duster, named Mongoose.
Both drivers gained wider public attention from Mattel's "Hot Wheels" toy versions of the cars that were released in 1970. Hot Wheels celebrated their 35th anniversary in 2005 with a two-day event.

Don's accomplishments in racing are featured in the 2013 movie Snake and Mongoose which features the rivalry between "The Snake" and Tom "The Mongoose" McEwen. The film also discusses how both drivers brought drag racing into mainstream with the Mattel Hot Wheels sponsorship. The movie was inspired by the book SNAKE vs. MONGOO$E / HOW A RIVALRY CHANGED DRAG RACING FOREVER written by Tom Madigan.

Don Prudhomme's early career is documented in the book, Six Seconds to Glory by Hal Higdon. The book covers the 1973 Nationals held in Indianapolis, a race in which Prudhomme was battling for his first Funny Car season title.

On the National Hot Rod Association Top 50 Drivers 1951-2000, Don Prudhomme was ranked #3.
He was inducted in the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 1991 and the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2000.

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