The Ottumwa Courier

Sports

July 2, 2013

'Big Daddy' Don Garlits at Eddyville this weekend

Hello race fans and welcome to The Pit Stop.

It’s hard to believe that the Fourth of July holiday is just a couple days away. With it brings a couple big racing events to the area.

Eddyville Raceway Park has been hosting the Musco Lighting “Night of Fire” for several years. This year, they bring in legend “Big Daddy.” Don Garlits as the big draw for the event.

The “Night of Fire” racing at ERP is a three-day event and it kicks off Friday night where it is open test and tuning for everyone. Then the actual “Night of Fire” takes place on Saturday and they have a lot of things going on.

They have several classes of racing and they welcome in four Nitro Funny Cars, a Nitro Altered versus Top Fueler match race, a jet-engine powered 1949 Ford Pick-up and, of course, a wheel-stander who goes down the entire eighth-mile on his back tires. But the big draw this year is Garlits and he brings his Swap Rat XII dragster.

Garlits, considered the number one drag racer of all time, will make his first ever appearance at Eddyville this weekend.

“This is more than a special opportunity for our race fans,” ERP Manager Gerald Kramer said. “It is a huge once in a lifetime chance for the race track,”

Another big name coming into the track for the weekend is former NHRA Announcer and NHRA Hall of Famer, Bob Frey. Frey is a 46-year veteran of the NHRA public address system who retired from announcing in November of 2012. In an unpredicted move, Frey agreed to announce at Eddyville for the “Night of Fire.”

“We couldn’t be more happy,” ERP co-owner Scott Gardner said. “Bob is a fantastic guy and extremely knowledgeable and he will be a big asset for this event and especially with his knowledge of Big Daddy.”

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