FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 11, 2018 (Vista, Calif.): Four-time NHRA Funny Car champion and drag racing legend Don “the Snake” Prudhomme is known for his performance in a nitro-burning Funny Car, but he also has a history with desert racing on the Baja peninsula.
In 1968, Prudhomme entered the Mexican 1000 Baja race in a Porsche-powered buggy built by racing innovator Tony Nancy and owned by actor Steve McQueen. Shortly before the race, McQueen had a movie conflict so Nancy reached out to Prudhomme to fill the seat as the co-driver. Prudhomme and Nancy had crossed paths through their successful drag racing careers. Now, 50 years later, with help from JEGS High Performance Mail Order, Prudhomme is returning to Baja competition in the 2018 Mexican 1000 – and he’s out for redemption.
“In 1968, we burned it up,” says Prudhomme. “Never even made it onto the dirt, which I’m embarrassed to tell you. Haven’t been back since.”
The 2018 Mexican 1000 will be the “Snake’s” first competitive driving appearance since 1994 when he retired from the NHRA tour having won 49 National Events in the Funny Car and Top Fuel divisions. Later, as team owner, he added another 63 NHRA tour victories.
He will return to competition in a 2018 Polaris RZR 1000 prepped by P.J. Jones of PJ’s Performance in Mesa, Ariz., and will race in the Stock Turbo UTV class.
“This thing can move out,” says Prudhomme. “If we’d had this in 1968, we would have finished the race. We’re gonna do it right for the NORRA race this year.”
(Photos: Ford Archive, Hot Rod Magazine, Patrick Paternie (Autoweek), Don Prudhomme)
About Don “the Snake” Prudhomme
Prudhomme, ranked No. 3 on the National Hot Rod Association’s list of “Top 50 Drivers,” helped define the sport of drag racing for more than four decades. When he stopped driving at the conclusion of the 1994 season, he had recorded four consecutive NHRA Funny Car championships (1975-78), was the then-winningest nitro fuel racer in NHRA history with 49 victories (14 in Top Fuel, 35 in Funny Car), including seven wins at the prestigious U.S. Nationals at Indy, and had recorded the first five-second Funny Car run, a 5.98 at the 1975 NHRA World Finals. His 5.63 clocking at the 1982 U.S. Nationals, nearly two-tenths of a second quicker than anything before, is considered among the greatest Funny Car passes ever. As a team owner, he saw an additional 63 victories before his retirement from NHRA.
About PJ’s Performance
REGISTER BEFORE YOU ARRIVE!
Login to your existing NORRA account, or create a new NORRA account at www.norra.com/member/member_home.php. Have picture images (.jpg, .bmp, or .png) of your Driver's License, Passport and Health Insurance Card ready to upload to your profile. Have your race radio frequency handy as well as your emergency contact phone numbers. Determine what category your vehicle should be competing in (refer to 2018 rules at www.norra.com/rules_current.php). Update and complete the 'My Profile' and 'My Vehicle' sections of your account. Once, pre-registration opens, it should be as easy as selecting your vehicle and choosing your preference of payment option. Upon completion of registration you will receive a confirmation email and see your entry online.
2018 YOKOHAMA NORRA MEXICAN 1000
Friday April 20th
(Welcome Fiesta / Pre-registration / Tech)
Saturday April 21st
(Registration / Tech / Drivers Meeting)
Sunday April 22nd
Ensenada ~ San Felipe
Monday April 23rd
San Felipe ~ Guerrero Negro (Moto)
San Felipe ~ Bahia de los Angeles (4-Wheel)
Tuesday April 24th
Guerrero Negro/Bahia de los Angeles ~ Loreto
Wednesday April 25th
Loreto ~ La Paz
Thursday April 26th
La Paz ~ San Jose del Cabo
(2018 YOKOHAMA NORRA Mexican 1000 Finish!!!)
Friday April 27th *NEW!*
La Paz ~ San Jose del Cabo
Beginning in 2010, the National Off Road Racing Association (NORRA) began promoting a rebirth of the NORRA Mexican 1000 rally. The unique off-road rally was co-created by promoter Mike Pearlman to consist of special stages (unlimited speed timed stages in the dirt) linked together by controlled speed liaison / transit sections (highway). The one-of-a-kind, once-a-year, four-day rally includes vintage off-road vehicles and motorcycles, as well as modern desert Rally Raid cars, pre-runner trucks, buggies and motorcycles.
Pearlman's late father Ed and others established the first running of the NORRA Mexican 1000 off-road rally in November of 1967, which eventually became internationally recognized and evolved into the Baja 1000 in the mid-1970's.
The 2018 NORRA Mexican 1000 is supported by Yokohama, Method Race Wheels, South Point Hotel Casino, Walker Evans Racing, Bilstein Shock Absorbers, Steel-It, Multitool USA, RIGID, VP Racing Fuels, Timberline, Ensenada Proturismo, Mastercraft/Impact Safety, Cerveceria Transpeninsular, Roganto, Biltwell Inc., Schampa, Racing TraX.com, Satellite Phone Store.com, P.C.I. Race Radios, WARN, Magic Bullet, US Action Trax.com, and many more.