Glidden - Ford interview 2009-06-24

This Week in Ford Racing When Bob Glidden retired in 1997, he was the most successful driver in the history of the NHRA with 85 National Event wins. A Ford campaigner from the beginning, Glidden's start in Stock and Super Stock contributed to...

This Week in Ford Racing

When Bob Glidden retired in 1997, he was the most successful driver in the history of the NHRA with 85 National Event wins. A Ford campaigner from the beginning, Glidden's start in Stock and Super Stock contributed to his huge success in Pro Stock. Glidden, now involved in the '10 Unleashed program, talks about Ford's involvement with the sport today.

BOB GLIDDEN - former Ford Racing NHRA driver -

OUT OF ALL OF YOUR AMAZING ACCOMPLISHMENTS, WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF? "Well, I can't pick one particular race, or one particular time - we were very lucky over the years. I just think that I'm most proud of the fact that we were able to start out with nothing and maintain a certain level of success for so many years."

YOU RAN MANY DIFFERENT FORD VEHICLES DURING YOUR TIME. OUT OF ALL OF THOSE, WHAT'S NEAREST AND DEAREST TO YOUR HEART? "Certainly the mid- to late-'80s model Thunderbirds, without any question"

FOR YEARS, THE QUESTION HAS BEEN, "WHEN IS FORD GETTING BACK INTO PRO STOCK?" NOW FORD IS STARTING TO DEVELOP ITS SPORTSMAN RACER PROGRAM WITH BRYAN WOLFE OVERSEEING THE PROGRAM. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THAT? "I'm not sure to what extent they're going to get involved to help create more Pro Stock teams, but I can say this: Brian Wolfe is going to be absolutely great for Ford Motorsports, for Ford Motor Company, period. He's put a lot of effort into areas that helps to sell Ford Motor cars, so I'm very impressed with Brian and the guys that work for him."

JIM CUNNINGHAM HELPED WITH DEVELOPMENTAL COST AND NOW LARRY MORGAN HAS JUST ANNOUNCED HE'S MAKING THE SWITCH NEXT YEAR TO FORD. RIGHT NOW YOU'RE LOOKING AT ERICA ENDERS RUNNING FOR JIM CUNNINGHAM AND LARRY MORGAN NEXT YEAR. "It sounds very simple, but it isn't going to be. The Larry Morgan effort will be a very good effort for Ford with the Pro Stock pParts, and in one way or another that will help Jim Cunningham and his team."

DO YOU STILL FOLLOW PRO STOCK CLOSELY, OR DO YOU FOLLOW FORD'S INVOLVEMENT WITH THE FUNNY CAR SERIES? "I was still working 100 hours a week up until three weeks ago being involved in it. Yes I do, it's been my entire life. You know I love John Force. He's got so many great guys working for him. He's done so much for Ford Motor Company in his own right with all of his Funny Car teams and certainly I follow Pro Stock."

BOB TASCA WON GATORNATIONALS THIS YEAR AND HAS BROUGHT MOTORCRAFT BACK INTO THE SPORT. HAVE YOU KEPT AN EYE ON THAT? " Oh, yeah, I talk to those guys, his dad and him. I love those folks, the Tascas. I'm proud of him, I'm proud of Bobby, and he gets better every race, as a driver. His team keeps getting better. I'm very proud of Bobby Tasca."

HIS GRANDFATHER IS THE ONE WHO HELPED BRING FORD INTO THE NHRA IN THE '60S."Yes, and he helped bring Ford back with their involvement with John Force and everything that's going on now in drag racing. Bob Sr., he's the grandfather of Ford Racing, period.

WHAT IS YOUR INVOLVMENT WITH THE MUSTANG '10 UNLEASHED PROGRAM? "I got a call about this program and I said that it sounds really neat and I would like to be involved in that. The first thing was to do some testing at Milan, Michigan, and be involved in the pace race at Indy the following weekend, and we had some problems with the cars. It was kind of an overnight thrash to get the cars ready for this program, so, I may be the only one, or one of the few that knows the trouble that we had with the car, but it was a blessing in disguise. After leaving the Milan deal, I talked to Brian Wolfe and explained to Brian what I thought needed to be changed and apparently he did that and we've got two cars here, two Mustangs that are absolutely identical in performance, so the guys that go out and do the best job are going to win. Going back to where we started, Derek, a high school student from Florida, had nominated his teacher to be a participant in this, and because of his Internet post, he was chosen as the other participant. All of the time this was going on, we all knew everything except the teacher, he knew nothing, and that's what was so great about the event. Derek's teacher has a drag-racing background and, as I understand, is one of our fans. He's watched races over the years. It was just a pleasure for me to walk into the scene and introduce myself, and about that time Derek comes hauling up in the other Mustang and takes his helmet off and his teacher didn't really know what to do; it was a moment, it was wonderful. I want to see them race, but the meeting was really what I was waiting to see, the expression on the teacher's face when he found out Derek was going to be his competitor. That was great."

DOES IT STILL GIVE YOU A BIT OF A CHILL WHEN YOU REALIZE THAT WHAT YOU DID FOR ALL OF THOSE YEARS MADE SUCH AN IMPACT ON SO MANY PEOPLE? "It is incredible how fans don't forget. We'll go to an NHRA race and fans still line up by city blocks to get autographs. Believe me, there isn't a feeling like that in the world, the only feeling I've ever had better than that is when we are able to get involved with handicapped children or getting involved with the Make a Wish Foundation. Aside from those, just to be able to sit down or kneel down and sign autographs for fans is, well, I really can't explain the feeling."

-credit: ford racing

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Series NHRA
Drivers John Force , Jim Cunningham , Larry Morgan , Bob Glidden