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NHRA legend 'Big Daddy' Don Garlits still racing at 79

Drag racing pioneer and Tampa native Don Garlits is behind the wheel yet again.

The NHRA legend, at 79, is driving his black Swamp Rat XXXV, a 2009 Dodge, in a sportsman division this weekend in Topeka, Kan.

"We were black-leather, jacketed hoodlums … and I've never changed," Garlits told the Kansas City Star of his first days racing in Florida.

He went more than 300 mph in a Top Fuel car in his early 70s but now is happy to race against common folks who get up to 133 mph.

"Their whole lives … they dreamed they might get to race Big Daddy sometime," Garlits said of his current foes. "And now they are."

NHRA legend 'Big Daddy' Don Garlits still racing at 79 05/21/11 [Last modified: Saturday, May 21, 2011 11:12pm]

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