Snake
Bristol Dragway President Jerry Caldwell presented Don "The Snake" Prudhomme with his official Legends of Thunder Valley plaque. (Bobby Bennett Photo)

Prudhomme Inducted Into Bristol’s Legends Of The Dragway

BRISTOL, Tenn. – Don “The Snake” Prudhomme, one of the most successful drag racers in history, was inducted into the prestigious Legends of Thunder Valley by Bristol Motor Speedway & Dragway President Jerry Caldwell.

Prudhomme, who drove the famed U.S. Army Funny Car during the height of his reign as one of the most dominating drag racers to ever speed down the quarter-mile, joins such names as Speedway Motorsports executive chairman Bruton Smith, NHRA Founder Wally Parks, Top Fuel legend Don Garlits, Funny Car champ John Force and NHRA team owner Don Schumacher, among others, in the exclusive Hall of Fame at historic Bristol Dragway.

“Don accomplished so much at Bristol Dragway over the years and has been such an icon in the world of drag racing and we are so honored to have him here at Thunder Valley as our special guest this weekend,” said Caldwell. “His records and achievements are incredible, and if ‘cool factor’ was an official stat he would be the undisputed world-wide leader in that category and that’s why we are all in awe of him. We are thrilled and very proud to induct him today into the Legends of Thunder Valley.”

Prudhomme, 81, won four NHRA Funny Car world championship titles as a driver and earned 49 victories during his days in the cockpit of nitro-fueled Funny Cars and Top Fuel Dragsters. His extremely popular Mattel Hot Wheels sponsored Funny Cars in the 1970s and storybook rivalry with Tom “The Mongoose” McEwen, took drag racing into the mainstream.

As an NHRA team owner in the late 1990s and early 2000s he earned two more world championships and 55 victories. As a team owner at Bristol Dragway, Prudhomme’s drivers captured two NHRA victories, including one by Miller Lite Top Fuel driver Larry Dixon (2002) and one by Skoal Racing Funny Car driver Ron Capps (2001).

Prudhomme was very successful at Bristol Dragway in the 1960s and ‘70s, where he raced to one victory in six final round appearances and broke one of the speed barriers in Funny Car when he posted a jaw-dropping speed of 266.27 mph at the Tennessee track in 1985. 

“This is such an honor, I have always loved Bristol Dragway and I came here to race for the first time as a kid basically,” Prudhomme said. “I want to thank everyone here at the track for this and I look forward to having my name up there among all those legends for many years to come, long after I’m gone.”

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