Memphis International Raceway to Induct the Inaugural Class into a New Drag Racing Hall of Fame at World Series of Drag Racing TOMORROW!
Memphis International Raceway to Induct the Inaugural Class into a New Drag Racing Hall of Fame at World Series of Drag Racing presented by Sunoco and Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau
WHAT: Memphis International Raceway will induct the first group of hall of fame racers in their new Drag Racing Hall of Fame at the World Series of Drag Racing presented by Sunoco and Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau on Saturday, August 27. The Drag Racing Hall of Fame will honor drag racing legends that have ties to the Mid-South.
Great photo/video/interview opportunities with racing legends with ties to the Mid-South!
WHEN: Saturday, August 27
WHERE: Memphis International Raceway Dragstrip
WHO: Shirley Muldowney
James “Augie” McCallie
Don “Big Daddy” Garlics
BIOS BELOW AND ATTACHED
CONTACT: Patrick Collins
2016 Memphis International Raceway
Hall of Fame Inductees
Larry Coleman – Business partners and brothers-in-law Larry Coleman and Bill Taylor founded Coleman Taylor Transmissions in 1961 in Memphis, Tennessee. The duo also owned Lakeland International Raceway. Larry Coleman was selected as Factory sponsorship for Chrysler in 1965 and the Factory Team in 1967. The Coleman Taylor mustang set a NHRA record in 1967 at 173 mph and cracked the 200 mph at NHRA Record Runs in 1969.
Bill Taylor – Racer Bill Taylor was owner of Bill Taylor Enterprises in Mt Pleasant, Mississippi. He also co-owned Lakeland International Raceway outside of Memphis, Tennessee where they raced along with many legendary racers in what was known as the "16 Funny Car" shows. Bill built his first Kingfish funny car in 1965. Next came the Super Cuda in 1968 followed by the Superduster in 1970. Also, Bill became a major sponsor for IHRA in the area of transmission and convertor components for many years.
Larry Reyes – Larry Coleman and Bill Taylor, hired Larry Reyes to drive the first Kingfish Barracuda. Reyes left his Southern California life and moved to Memphis, Tennessee. Larry and the Kingfish won the World Series of Drag Racing at Cordova fifty years ago to this date. His driving career then led to racing a Logghe-chassised Super Cuda with Bill Taylor, and transitioned into his own Funny Car where a chance meeting with Roland Leong at an event out west put him behind the wheel of the first Hawaiian Funny Car.
Roland Leong – In 1962 Roland Leong, his mother and a life-long friend made a trip to the Winternationals and the mainland with the Dragmaster Hawaii. Roland started as a driver and built his first Fuel Dragster appropriately named “The Hawaiian” at age 21 and raced with Don “The Snake” Prudhomme and then Mike Sniively. In 1969, Roland switched from dragsters to Funny Cars and his long list of drivers included: Mike Sorokin, Larry Reyes, Bobby Rowe, Pat Foster, Butch Maas, Larry Arnold, Norm Wilcox, Ron Colson, Mike Dunn, Gordie Bonin, Rick Johnson, Leroy Chadderton, Jim White and Johnny West.
Don Garlits – Don "Big Daddy" Garlits is considered the father of drag racing and is known as "Big Daddy" to drag racing fans around the world. The "King of Dragsters" won 17 championships and was the first drag racer to officially surpass the 170, 180, 200, 240, 250, and 270 miles per hour marks in the quarter mile; he was also the first to top 200 in the 1/8 mile. A racing legend since his first win in 1955, Garlits’ recordbreaking Swamp Rat XXX is enshrined in the Smithsonian Museum of American History.
Shirley Muldowney – Shirley Muldowney became the first woman to race dragsters with the National Hot Rod Association and is nicknamed the “First Lady of Drag Racing.” After racing funny cars in the early 1970s, she turned to racing Top Fuel dragsters. Shirley was the first woman to win a Top Fuel title and the first driver of either sex to win three world titles (1977, 1980 and 1982). In 1998 she set a speed record for the International Hot Rod Association.
Clay Millican – Drummonds, Tennessee native, Clay Millican has won six International Hot Rod Association Top Fuel world championships and is currently racing Top Fuel full-time in the NHRA. Clay and Peter Lehman, paired up and started racing Top Fuel together full-time in 2000. That year Clay finished second in points and the following year was the first of six straight championships. He is the current IHRA World Top Fuel Record holder for Elapsed Time and speed with a 4.48 at 328 mph and the 2001 IHRA Driver of the Year.
Mike Dunn – Legendary NHRA driver, former ESPN analyst and current IHRA president, Mike Dunn is one of only four drivers to ever win 10 or more races in both Top Fuel dragsters and Funny Cars. He left competitive racing in 2002 and joined ESPN as a commentator until 2015. Early 2016, the IHRA announced Mike as their new president. He has two wins in three finals at Memphis International Raceway. One in Funny Car from 1991 and one in Top Fuel from 1996.
James “Augie” McCallie – Veteran starter James “Augie” McCallie has been a fixture on the starting line at Memphis International Raceway since 1987. He got involved in racing through Jack Mullin at Jack’s Garage and raced with Jack until he moved to Memphis in 1983. Keith Ferrell hired Augie at the track in 1985 and promoted him to starter two years later. Augie has been at MIR ever since.
Share on Social Media