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Two shots of Garlits taken the day that would change the face of drag racing. It was March 8th 1970 and Lions was hosting the AHRA Grand American - their first big race of the year.

The stands of Lions Drag Strip were still full of the 25,000+ fans who'd stayed to see the Top Fuel final between "Big Daddy" Don Garlits and the infamous Richard Tharp in the Creitz & Donovan fueler. After their burnouts both cars staged without any games. Starter, Larry Sutton flipped the switch and in an instant Tharp red lighted and Garlits headed into history.




The car ran without a hitch and we were using the Winternationals as a shakedown, because it was close to home. We had the same gear in the car that we had run at Indy where the car was in the final with the 392 Chrysler, the 3:23 gear was way to long, it needed a 4:10. We also were running 50% nitro on the shakedown. The pistons were cut down .050 thou. on my small Craftsman lathe to run 75%.

Coming home with the best engineered award and a new car in perfect shape with lots of good changes to make felt like a great success to us.

However, the Monday morning following the Winternationals my phone rang and it was Leonard Faas (Indy Car team owner). He told me that I was a genius, I said why, he said USAC has changed the rules back over the weekend to allow the Cammers back in and you have all the engines!"
Photo and story from Jim Busby

There are other shots of this car on WDIFL (Busby Twin) .



John Collins in Dave McKenzie's "Blue Streak Special" at Lions in 1969.





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