Fifty Years of Funny Car to Highlight NHRA Breakfast at 2016 SEMA Show

5 10 2016

GLENDORA, CA – October 5, 2016 – (Motor Sports Newswire) –  The 2016 NHRA Breakfast, held annually at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas, will continue the celebration of NHRA’s 50 years of Funny Car with some of the sport’s biggest stars.

Funny Car drivers featured during the NHRA breakfast are include pioneers of the sport Don “The Snake” Prudhomme, Tom “The Mongoose” McEwen and “Jungle” Pam Hardy, along with current Funny Car racers John Force and Del Worsham.

The popular annual event at the SEMA Show, which has showcased many of NHRA’s legendary drivers, team owners and other characters within the sport, has grown into a must-see affair for SEMA Show attendees and this year’s program promises to continue that tradition.

NHRA has been celebrating 50 years of Funny Car in a season-long promotion that has featured the fan-favorite cars, explained the evolution of the category, remembered the greatest rivalries, and put the spotlight on the legends who drove the cars in some of the most memorable side-by-side races in NHRA history. From the signature long, smoky burnouts to the wild and zany rides that are often the result of a full run in the volatile short-wheelbase, high-horsepower, nitro-fueled monsters, Funny Car has firmly established its place in the world of NHRA Drag Racing.

Continuing the celebration, the NHRA will bring together some of the most legendary Funny Car drivers in NHRA history at this year’s NHRA Breakfast. They will discuss their memories and legacies in the world’s most diverse motorsport.

Prudhomme, known as “The Snake”, had 49 NHRA national event victories – 35 in Funny Car, 14 in Top Fuel – and four consecutive Funny Car world championships from 1975 to 1978. As a team owner, Prudhomme notched 63 victories and two Top Fuel world championships, which came in 2002 and 2003 with Larry Dixon as his driver.

McEwen, also known as “Mongoose”, won four national events in his career but is most remembered for his storied rivalry with Prudhomme. McEwen chose the nickname “Mongoose” because it was the only animal that could kill a snake. McEwen only beat Prudhomme once in his career at the 1978 U.S. Nationals, in a storybook ending as McEwen was mourning the loss of his son to leukemia just weeks before the race. After McEwen earned the victory and sat in his car overwhelmed with emotion, Prudhomme slipped under the body to join his rival for a moment that has been voted the Most Memorable Moment in U.S. Nationals history.

Hardy, or “Jungle Pam” as she is better known, was a legendary back up girl that toured with historic racer “Jungle Jim” Liberman in the 70’s. Liberman met 18-year-old Pam while she was in high school. She went on to tour with him wearing skimpy outfits while helping him back up after burnouts. Liberman had one national event win in NHRA competition at the 1975 Summernationals in Englishtown N.J.

Force, a 16-time Funny Car world champion, has 146 career victories and counting. He is the winningest driver in NHRA history and this season, Force has three wins, two coming back-to-back during the famed NHRA Western Swing at the Denver and Sonoma events. Force, who also won the most recent race in Charlotte, N.C. to start the six-race Countdown playoff to the championship, is making a strong push for his 17th Funny Car world title.

Worsham is the reigning Funny Car world champion and one of only three drivers to have world titles in both Funny Car and Top Fuel (2011). He has 39 career victories – 31 in Funny Car and eight in Top Fuel. Worsham has one win this season in Brainerd, Minn. and four runner-up finishes.

As part of the SEMA breakfast, NHRA will announce the top two Funny Cars of all-time from the fan voting this season that has counted down the top 20. The winner will be announced at the Auto Club NHRA Finals in Pomona, Calif. Nov. 10-13.

The NHRA Breakfast at the SEMA Show will be held Wednesday, Nov. 2 from 7:30-9 a.m. at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort and Casino Paradise Events Center South. The annual NHRA Breakfast is part of the 2016 SEMA Show, the premier automotive specialty products trade event in the world which draws the industry’s brightest minds and hottest products to one place, the Las Vegas Convention Center, Nov. 1-4, 2015.  The NHRA Breakfast is open to all registered SEMA Show attendees.  A continental breakfast will be served.

This event is open to all registered SEMA Show attendees at no cost – however tickets are required. To order your event ticket or register for the show, visit www.SEMAShow.com/register and click Add Event Tickets.

The panel will be moderated by longtime NHRA announcer Bob Frey.  Following the NHRA Breakfast, all of the special panel guests will be at the NHRA on FOX Booth in the Las Vegas Convention Center Grand Lobby Booth #10000 signing autographs and handing out limited edition autograph cards from 10 – 11 a.m.

About National Hot Rod Association

Headquartered in Glendora, Calif., NHRA is the primary sanctioning body for the sport of drag racing in the United States. NHRA presents 23 national events featuring the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series and NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series. NHRA provides competition opportunities for drivers of all levels in the NHRA Summit Racing Series and the NHRA Drags: Street Legal Style presented by AAA. NHRA also offers NHRA Jr. Street for teens and the Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League for youth ages 5 to 17. In addition, NHRA owns and operates five racing facilities: Atlanta Dragway in Georgia; Auto-Plus Raceway at Gainesville in Florida; National Trail Raceway in Ohio; Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis; and Auto Club Raceway at Pomona in Southern California. For more information, log on to NHRA.com, or visit the official NHRA pages on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

Source: National Hot Rod Association

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