Last year drag racing legend Don “Big Daddy” Garlits attempted to set a world record by being the first person to take an electric car to 200 MPH in just a quarter-mile. He came teasingly close with a 185.6 MPH trap speed, blitzing down the drag strip in just 7.27 seconds. As fast as it is though, it isn’t fast enough, and Big Daddy is back to finish his mission.
On March 2nd, Big Daddy will bring a new-and-improved Swamp Rat 37 electric dragster out to Bradenton Motorsports Park with his “Quest for 200” team. Among the improvements is a refined battery pack that was engineered in China with the guiding hand of Shawn Lawless, who is the guy behind Swamp Rat’s unique drivetrain. It wasn’t for a lack of power or trying last year that the team came up short, but with less than 15 MPH standing between them and their goal, they’d be silly to back down now.
Big Daddy Garlits is no stranger to record speeds, having become the first drag racer to successfully pilot a car past 200 MPH down a quarter-mile drag strip. He was also the first guy to go past 250 MPH, and 270 MPH during a racing career that spans from the end of World War II until today. Literally, at the age of 83, Big Daddy Garlits shows no signs of slowing down, and I can’t emphasize how awesome it is to have a racer of his caliber, quite literally a founding father of drag racing as we know it, so enthused about electric vehicles.
Here’s to (at least) one more record for Big Daddy. While you’re at it, check out video from last year’s record-setting 185 MPH run.