Drag racing isn’t the most popular of motorsports out there, but it is certainly one of the most exciting motorsports.
The whole point in drag racing is that there can be only one winner from two competing vehicles. These vehicles compete over a straight-line course and whoever finishes first, wins. The racing course usually is a quarter of a mile long, so that makes drag racing very brief, only a few seconds long.
The vehicles that drag racers use are modified to the point of astonishing speeds that are gained over a very brief period of time. The best ones for the sport are top fuel dragsters that are modified specifically for the purpose of the sport itself. These monsters can reach speeds of up to 300 mph in a relatively short time of only 3.5 seconds.
So that begs the question, who are the most successful drag racers of all time? In this article, we are going to look at just that.
1. Don Garlits
Big Daddy himself, Don Garlits is adored by millions of fans around the world and he is the most successful drag racer ever to exist. The champ has won a total of 144 individual events, and 10 American Hot Rod Association Championships under his name. He has four international Hot Rod Association Championships, and 3 national championships. That pits his record at 17 world championship trophies! Don was born in 1932 and has even lost a leg during an accident in 1970. But that didn’t stop Big Daddy from winning everything that there is to win under the sun. His personal top fuel dragster “Swamp Rat XXX” was enshrined in the National Museum of American History way back in 1987. Don “Big Daddy” Garlits is voted the most successful drag racer by No Prep Racing.
2. John Force
The man that has won more as an owner than as a driver himself, John Force has the same number of victories at individual events as Don Garlits. John Force has won 16 NHRA Funny Car championships as a racer and 20 NHRA championship events as a team owner between 1990 and 2013. In 2017, his daughter Brittany won the 2017 NHRA Top Fuel Championship with his father’s team. However, Brittany isn’t the only Force daughter that has had further success brought to the family name. Courtney and Ashley, John’s two other daughters also have some success under their name. John and Ashley were the first ever father and daughter to compete in an NHRA championship, with Ashley taking the honors at the event held in Atlanta in 2007.
3. Don Prudhomme
Nicknamed “the snake”, Don Prudhomme was so successful that they made a film in his name. The name of the film was “Snake and Mongoose” which was a movie about Don Prudhomme (the snake) and his rivalry with Tom McEwen (the mongoose). He has 5 Funny Car championship titles under his name between 1975 and 1978, and he has his own racing team called Snake Racing. His team managed to win in two categories in 1998, and in 2002 his team won the NHRA Top Fuel championship for the first time, making him only the 5th owner in history to achieve those successes.