PRUDHOMME EARNS 100TH CAREER VICTORY SUNDAY AT LAS VEGAS Motor Sports icon reaches century mark in wins with 51st career victory as team owner LAS VEGAS (April 17, 2005) -- Drag racing legend Don 'the Snake' Prudhomme chalked another milestone...
PRUDHOMME EARNS 100TH CAREER VICTORY SUNDAY AT LAS VEGAS
Motor Sports icon reaches century mark in wins with 51st career victory as team owner
LAS VEGAS (April 17, 2005) -- Drag racing legend Don 'the Snake' Prudhomme chalked another milestone to his list of career accomplishments Sunday at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway becoming just the third driver/owner in NHRA history to collect 100 career victories.
Prudhomme, who won 49 races during his 32-year driving career, earned his 51st win as a team owner when two-time Top Fuel champion Larry Dixon blasted his Miller Lite dragster to his 36th career NHRA Top Fuel victory Sunday at Las Vegas. All of Dixon's 36 career wins have come under Prudhomme's watchful eye after the now veteran driver followed in Prudhomme's footsteps in 1995 when he earned NHRA Rookie of the Year honors.
"We don't really keep track of all of those statistics," Prudhomme said. "We're just out here trying to win the race each week. This drag racing takes a lot out of guys like (crew chief) Dick LaHaie and myself. Sometimes you question yourself, 'like do you want to keep doing this?' I'm just happy it's over with. Now we can move on and focus on winning races and the championship."
Prudhomme scored his first career win when he drove Roland Leong's Hawaiian dragster to victory at the 1965 Winternationals at Pomona (Calif.) Raceway. Of his 49 wins as a driver, 14 came in a Top Fuel dragster, while Prudhomme claimed 35 wins and four NHRA Funny Car titles (1975-78) in the Funny Car category. He scored his final win as a driver behind the wheel of his Skoal Bandit dragster at the Texas Motorplex in 1994. The 2000 Motorsports Hall of Fame inductee scored seven wins at the prestigious U.S. Nationals. He also won seven times at Sanair International Drag Strip in Quebec, Canada.
The Snake didn't have to wait very long to earn his first win as a team owner as Dixon hit pay dirt in his second career start, winning at Firebird International Raceway near Phoenix in 1995. Prudhomme has watched Dixon's Miller Lite rail capture the 'Wally' trophy 36 times, while longtime Don Prudhomme Racing driver Ron Capps won 13 times under Prudhomme's tutelage and current Skoal Racing driver Tommy Johnson Jr. has captured two wins since joining the Don Prudhomme Racing camp in 2001, including Snake's 99th career win at the season-opening Winternationals at Pomona Raceway on Feb. 13.
"I was hoping it would be No. 101," Dixon said. "I hoped that Tommy (Johnson Jr.) gave him No. 100 and me No. 101. It's way cool to have 100 wins, but we've had a lot of wins since I came to work for Snake in 1987. It'sa neat thing to be a part of."
Prudhomme becomes just the third driver/owner in NHRA history to record 100 career victories, joining fellow drag racing stars John Force and Warren Johnson. Force and his stable of drivers have amassed 151 career wins, while Johnson, a six-time NHRA Pro Stock champion, and son Kurt have combined for 121 victories.