Most every drag racing fan will proclaim "Big Daddy" Don Garlits as the greatest drag racer who ever strapped himself into a dragster. But mention it to Garlits, and he will say he never liked being branded this. Instead, he offers, "I'm just me." Garlits, the man who advanced safety in the Top Fuel division further than anyone, learned how to drag race by growing up in a family affected by the great depression. He carried the banner in a male-dominated sport and when a talented female driver made her way into the ranks, did his best to win one for the boys all the time. In this Legends: The Series, Garlits discusses his upbringing, as well as the occupation he nearly had before being led into cars. He'll also discuss his proudest moments as well as a couple of racing fatalities that touched his heart deeply. Garlits also revealed his complicated relationship with Wally Parks and how the love of his family fueled his success.

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Don Prudhomme is probably one of the most revered snakes in the world. A life story which has been told time and time again, this episode of Legends: The Series takes an inside look into the mindset of drag racer who described winning as everything. Prudhomme talks about the joy of traveling the country match racing with his friend Tom McEwen as well as the pressure and subsequent fatigue of maintaining the high level of competition. In episode #8 of Season Two of Legends: The Series, you'll see Prudhomme open up about his storied career.

Don Garlits - Close Calls
A look into the close calls of Don Garlits' life and racing career. All credits to Main Event Video and Dean Papadeas.

Bob Glidden was as blue collar of a drag racer as one could be. And, what made his status more impressive, is he did it on the big stage of NHRA professional drag racing. Glidden remains a throwback when championships were earned by hard work and not so deep pockets. There were deep pockets, yes ... but they generally belonged to those trying to catch him. Glidden was never a man of statistics, although he established many of them which hold true to this date. From a humble beginning as a drag racer who tried his hand at professional racing on a shoestring budget to the man with whom everyone wanted to dethrone, Glidden raised the level of Pro Stock to a level many could never fathom in 1971. Glidden was so dominant that he pushed others to cheat just to beat him, and they did. Try as they might, they could never break the work ethic of the man nicknamed as the Mad Dog for his tendency to race like a rabid dog. In the final episode of Season Two of Legends: The Series, you'll see Glidden open up in the way you would expect a man who spent his career being a straight shooter.

The image of Austin Coil as a cool and calculating puppet-master is debunked in this episode of Legends: The Series, Season Three in which the man who won a record 17 NHRA Championships as Funny Car crew chief to Frank Hawley and John Force owns up to what was happening beneath that seemingly calm exterior. “I was a nervous wreck,” Coil says. “I had stomach problems. I ate Rolaids like they were candy. I was upset most of the time. I just felt like it was unprofessional to stand on the starting line and scream like a raving maniac (but) some of the old guys I worked with nicknamed me ‘The Tyrant.’ I don’t think it’s because I was so mild mannered.” With a shout out to the late “Jungle Jim” Liberman, with whom he shared a special bond, Coil relives the era of Funny Car match racing in which the Chi-Town Hustler he campaigned with John Farkonas and Pat Minick made as many as 96 different appearances in a single season, sometimes racing five straight days at five different race tracks. Nevertheless, it wasn’t until he hooked up with Force in 1985 that Coil’s true genius was exposed. “After two world championships we were on the verge of having to quit,” he remembered, “because our team did not have the ability to talk people out of their money. Force had the ability to get some sponsor money and not much ability to win races. It seemed like it could work (but) it was three years before we won a single race.” The rest, as they say, is history. - Dave Densmore #LEGENDStheSERIES www.competitionplus.com www.competitionplus.tv Subsctibe to our YouTube Channel today.