Don Garlits & Darrell Gwynn Announce Full Schedule for “Garlits vs. Gwynn: Match Races for a Cause”

April 20th, 2011

 NHRA Supernationals in Englishtown, N.J. & O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Nationals in Charlotte Added to the Garlits vs. Gwynn Race Schedule

DAVIE, Fla. – Legendary Drag Racers Don “Big Daddy” Garlits & Darrell “The Kid” Gwynn have renewed their racing rivalry as they are squaring off in “Garlits vs. Gwynn: Match Races for a Cause”  at several NHRA events this season. “Garlits vs. Gwynn: Match Races for a Cause” brings two NHRA Legends back to the track as the NHRA celebrates its 60th Anniversary. The match races are designed to raise money and awareness for the Darrell Gwynn Foundation and the Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing, Inc. The Darrell Gwynn Foundation’s mission is to provide AWARENESS, PREVENTION, SUPPORT and ultimately a CURE for Paralysis.

In addition to previously announced race dates at the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis and the NHRA Finals in Pomona, Calif., “Garlits vs. Gwynn: Match races for a Cause” will appear at the NHRA Supernationals in Englishtown, N.J. on June 2-5 and the O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Nationals in Charlotte on September 15-18. The appearance in Englishtown, N.J. at the Old Bridgetown Raceway Park will mark the 25th Anniversary of Don Garlits’s famous blow-over in a race against Darrell Gwynn at the Summernationals in 1986.

The “Garlits vs. Gwynn: Match Races for a Cause” racing series kicked off in Gainesville, Fla. at the Gainesville Raceway with a best of three series of races between Gwynn and Garlits each day of the Gatornationals. Don Garlits won the first series taking the first two races before Gwynn came back strong and won race three at the Gatornationals. Garlits currently holds a 1-0 lead in the series and 2-1 lead in race victories over Gwynn.

The two stoic rivals race down the track in custom built DieHard Sponsored Battery Powered Electric Replica Dragsters that were built by Brad Hadman, designed by Mike Gerry and graphics by Eric Reyes under the supervision of Jerry Gwynn. The races were warmly welcomed by race fans in Gainesville, Fla. as the Hall of Famers returned to the racetrack. Fans can keep up with the standings of “Garlits vs. Gwynn: Match Races for a Cause” by visiting   

Garlits vs. Gwynn: Match Races for a Cause Schedule:

Date                             NHRA Event                                                                 Location          

March 10-13                  Tire Kingdom Gatornationals                                Gainesville, Fla.

June 2-5                        NHRA Supernationals                                                Englishtown, N.J.

Aug. 31 – Sept. 5          Mac Tools U.S. Nationals presented by Lucas Oil           Indianapolis, Ind.

Sept. 15-18                   O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Nationals                        Charlotte, N.C.

November 10-13            Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals      Pomona, Calif.

At the completion of the “Garlits vs. Gwynn: Match Races for a Cause” series, the DieHard Battery Powered Electric Replica Dragsters will be auctioned off at Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale 2012.

Fans can also get involved and help raise money for the Darrell Gwynn Foundation by purchasing tickets to Sunday’s NHRA races and participating in the “Track Walk for Those Who Can’t” which will take place at each NHRA event “Garlits vs. Gwynn: Match Races for a Cause” appears at. The track walks give fans an opportunity to walk on historic NHRA tracks, meet star NHRA Drivers and show support for the Darrell Gwynn Foundation’s mission. Your Sunday NHRA ticket gives you access to the track walk. Fans can also make a $20 donation to the Darrell Gwynn Foundation at the racetracks the weekend of the event or online at

The Darrell Gwynn Foundation will also make a wheelchair donation at each “Garlits vs. Gwynn” event through its national Wheelchair Donation Program.

To purchase tickets to the NHRA events hosting the “Garlits vs. Gwynn: Match Races for a Cause” please visit  

Sponsors who made this project possible include: Title Sponsor: Vision Airlines. Associate Sponsors:  Lucas Oil, Dynamic Machine, DieHard, National Auto Mart, JEGS, Summitt, Mac Tools, Barrett-Jackson, Goodyear, DMR, Reliable Transportation, Moon, Pro Glass, G-Force, Simpson, K&N Filters, Mark Williams and Brad Hadman/PMI Truck Bodies.

Don Garlits and Darrell Gwynn squared off on the racetrack for the first time in 1985 at the finals of the Summernationals. “Big Daddy” Garlits was already an established star in the NHRA facing the rising star, “The Kid” Darrell Gwynn. Garlits defeated Gwynn and the two would square off many more times including the Finals of the 1985 U.S. Nationals and the Finals of the 1986 U.S. Nationals. A memorable win for Gwynn came over Garlits at the 1986 Winternationals. The two competed frequently on the NHRA circuit until Gwynn sustained a spinal cord injury in a racing accident ending his career in 1990.

For more information on sponsoring “Garlits vs. Gwynn: Match Races for a Cause” please contact Colleen Robb at (954) 792-7223 x.116 or email at

About the Darrell Gwynn Foundation

Founded in 2002 by Champion Drag Racer Darrell Gwynn and his wife Lisa, the Darrell Gwynn Foundation is a 501(c)3 organization whose mission is to provide AWARENESS, PREVENTION, SUPPORT and ultimately a CURE for paralysis. In an effort to create more awareness about spinal cord injuries, the Darrell Gwynn Foundation successfully lobbied for an established Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Week with a resolution passed by the Florida Legislature in 2006. The foundation operates an Education & Prevention Program directed to high school students to educate them on the dangers of risky behavior that can lead to spinal cord injuries. This rapidly growing program reaches over 10,000 students annually at over 50 high schools. The foundation’s primary support program is its national Wheelchair Donation Program. With this program the Darrell Gwynn Foundation has donated custom built wheelchairs to hundreds of individuals in need. The foundation also maintains a model Patient Assistance Fund offering support services and tools at Craig Hospital in Englewood, Colorado with aspirations to expand this model to several hospitals nationwide. The Paralyzed Assistance Fund also supports the Betty Jane France Pediatric Center, at Halifax Hospital in Daytona, Fla. and Homestead Hospital in Homestead, Fla. Additionally the foundation provides financial support through its Fast Track Laboratory with the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis aimed at finding a cure for paralysis. With tremendous fundraising partners such as Barrett-Jackson, the NHRA, NASCAR and many more generous sponsors, individual supporters and donors, the Darrell Gwynn Foundation continues to evolve as a leading foundation for those with spinal cord injuries. For more information please visit or

About the Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing, Inc.

Founded by legendary drag racer Don “Big Daddy” Garlits, the museum is located in Ocala, Fla. and features dozens of classic dragsters, race cars and racing bikes driven by some of the greatest racers of all time including Don Garlits’ personal collection of his famous “Swamp Rat” Dragsters. A Hall of Fame Drag Racer and arguably one of the greatest drag racers of all-time, Don Garlits createsd the Don Garlits Musueum of Drag Racing, Inc. with the goal of showcasing and preserving the rich history of drag racing  and assist the Darrell Gwynn Foundation’s mission. The Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing, Inc. is open daily from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and tickets can be purchased by calling (877) 271-3278. For more information please visit 



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