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Don 'Big Daddy' Garlits
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Auto Racer
    (January 14, 1932- )
    Began his career in 1955
    Won 144 National Hot Rod Association events
    First driver to win three National Hot Rod Association national titles and three world championships
    First drag racer to surpass 170, 180, 200, 240, 250, 260, and 270 miles per hour
    Named #1 driver of the 'National Hot Rod Association Top 50 Drivers, 1951-2000'
    Founded the Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing in Ocala, Florida (1987)
    Inaugural inductee of the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America (1989)
    Inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame (1997)
    Co-wrote the first person account of drag racing - 'Big Daddy Don Garlits's Tales from the Drag Strip' (2004)
    His nickname is more befitting a pimp than a drag racer.
    He is known for his fiery temper.
    When he began his career most drag racers were from California (where the sport originated) and referred to him as 'the Floridian.'
    While running for the House of Representatives he signed the right-wing 1994 'Contract with America' and called for medieval-style prisons and public paddling of juvenile offenders.
    He criticized homosexuality as an 'abomination.'
    He was forced to retire from competitive racing due to a separated retina.
    He is known as the 'father of drag racing.'
    After losing part of his right foot in a 1970 accident he developed rear-engine dragsters so explosive engine parts would fall behind drivers.
    He was one of the first to endorse full-body, fire-resistant racing suits.
    He was the first to incorporate aerodynamic techniques and principles into dragster designs.
    His 'battle of the sexes' matches with Shirley 'Cha Cha' Muldowney were legendary.
    His Swamp Rat XXX fuel dragster went on permanent display at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

Credit: Scar Tactics

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