racing radio and message board
Home - About Us - Interviews - Forum - Online Store
head portingTitle: "On the Road with Big Daddy"
Guest: Don Garlits
Length: 28 min.
Show # 016-1
Download Audio

About the Guest: The name “Big Daddy” Don Garlits is synonymous with Drag Racing. In fact, Garlits has been dubbed the “King of the Dragsters,” and could be considered the patriarch of Top Fuel Drag Racing.  Don’s high school sweetheart is his wife Pat, however, his first love is the automobile, and his passion is winning.  His Swamp Rat series of 34 hand fabricated black racecars carried him to 144 national event wins.

Added to his marvelous racing accomplishments is a Florida tourist complex called Garlits Auto Museums in Ocala, FL. The Drag Racing Museum and Classic Car Collection, 17 World Championship Titles, and numerous racing milestones are all reality because Don first saw them as worthwhile dreams. Garlits’ distinct ability to conceptualize his dreams has allowed him to be master over the end result.

“Big Daddy’s” living legacy and racecar design innovations are so significant that his record breaking Swamp Rat XXX is enshrined in the Smithsonian Museum of American History. Don Garlits began racing in 1950 and scored his first major victory in 1955. His first NHRA National event win came in Top Fuel at the 1963 Winternationals in Pomona, CA

Don has won the prestigious NHRA U.S. Nationals a record 8 times.  His four decades of Drag Racing have filled the pages of seven books.  Although this list is not exhaustive, the facts below provide a good overview of “Big Daddy” Don Garlits’ colorful racing career.

About the Show:

  • What are you currently doing?
    • Racing
    • Business
    • The Museum of Drag Racing
  • Current racers:
    • How does the skill level of racers today compare to 20,30,40 years ago?
  • The one man band:
    • You strike me as someone who can do anything on the car, is that true?
    • Why did you choose to do it all?
    • What would you recommend to current racers, specialize or do it all?
  • Drive to succeed:
    • Why do you think you were so successful on the race track?
  • Being competitive:
    • What can a racer do to stay competitive year after year?
  • Going pro:
    • Do you have any advice for the racer wanting to go pro?

head portingTitle: "A Businessman's Way to Sponsorship"
Guest: Peter Lehman
Length: 36 min.
Show # 016-2
Download Audio

About the Guest: Peter Lehman became the youngest championship team owner in racing history when his team became the IHRA Top Fuel champions in 2001. They went on to hold that title in 2002 as well. Lehman Racing will run this Top Fuel dragster with driver Clay Millican in IHRA and NHRA this season.

Peter comes from a business background and has applied that to racing. His approach to sponsorship is that of the business owner. Peter tells us how to advance at any level by obtaining and maintaining sponsorship. His team consists of 10 employees and he may field a second car in the future.

This team has enjoyed an incredible amount of success with Peter Lehman at the helm. Peter gives us helpful advice that can be used at any level of racing. You may visit the team website for more information

About the Show:

  • When you decided to start this team, did you envision the success that you have had thus far?
  • Approximately how much does it cost to race in one national event?
  • How is it funded? Does your team have other ways of making money besides sponsorship?
  • Tell us how you landed that first big sponsor?
  • Why were you successful in getting sponsorship? How do you keep them supporting you year after year?
  • How does getting sponsorship on a national level differ from getting it on a local level?
  • How competitive is the sponsorship market on your level?
  • How do drag racers get sponsorship when Nascar racing seems to be the most popular?
  • What types of promotions do you do that could be done on an amateur level?
  • Can anyone do what you have done? What would it take?
  • How does someone on an amateur level become more business minded when they feel they are good at racing not schmoozing?
  • Let’s talk about the importance of media coverage. How often does Clay or your car show up on National Dragster or other sports news? Do you have to work at that or does it happen because of his winning record?
  • If a team wants to go to the next level, how should they approach that goal? (c) All Rights Reserved