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Garlits Sets New World Record in PBIR Run

Sunday, July 21, 2019

JUPITER, Fla. — The most legendary name in drag racing, “Big Daddy” Don Garlits, added to his legendary career by setting a new world speed record for an electric dragster Saturday night at Palm Beach International Raceway.

Garlits rocketed his Swamp Rat 38 battery-powered dragster down the Jupiter, Fla., in 7.22 seconds at 189.03 mph, nearly five miles faster than his previous world record.

It is the latest accomplishment for the 87-year-old motorsports icon, who is a 17-time world champion and the owner of 144 national-event victories.

Garlits, the first man to go 200 mph in a Top Fuel dragster, wanted hit the 200 mph milestone in the electric dragster, but had a part failure with a wheel on his final run. He promised to make another attempt at 200 mph soon and likely at Palm Beach International Raceway.

“The track is really nice and smooth so we like it here,” Garlits said to the Sun-Sentinel. “We’ll be coming back.”