NHRA Presents Darrell Gwynn a Wally Trophy at Mac Tools U.S. Nationals

September 5th, 2011

INDIANAPOLIS – The National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) presented legendary driver Darrell Gwynn with a Wally Trophy for winning his match race series over Don Garlits at the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals in a special ceremony at the Lucas Oil Raceway on Monday, September 5.

In Darrell’s brilliant racing career he won 28 Wally Trophy’s as a racer, many more as a team owner. Today, Darrell Gwynn received his first Wally Trophy since winning the Gatornationals in 1990, 21 years ago. The trophy was awarded by NHRA President Tom Compton. Don “Big Daddy” Garlits participated in the ceremony and offered his praise of Darrell’s career and charity work.

“Darrell, I know if it was up to you, you’d be racing this weekend in a Top Fuel car,” said Garlits. “But you took something bad and made it something good. The work that you are doing and the lives you are changing through your foundation will live forever, long after you and I are no longer here. You may no longer be doing things with race cars, but what you are doing for the human race is extraordinary.”

A choked up Gwynn, sitting next to the latest wheelchair recipient supported by his foundation, six year-old Caleb Weaver who received a $22,000 wheelchair donation Monday, thanked everyone for the gesture and their support.

“Today was not supposed to be about me, it’s about Caleb, but I really thank the NHRA for their support and all of our sponsors: Vision Airlines, Mac Tools, Lucas Oil and Diehard for making this race series possible,” said Gwynn. “A special thanks to the NHRA. This means a lot.”

 

The Wally Trophy

At just more than one-foot tall with a classy brass finish, he stands on a solid wooden platform and is the most sought after man in the world of NHRA Full Throttle drag racing.

Be warned: He is elusive. Only the very best can catch him.   Affectionately known as a “Wally” in honor of the late NHRA founder Wally Parks by the thousands of NHRA competitors who seek it, the trophy has taken on a life of its own, and remains one of the single biggest motivators for high-performance enthusiasts from the smallest one-car garage in Kennebunkport, Maine, to one of the sport’s most sophisticated centers of technology and engineering in Yorba Linda, Calif.

It is the ultimate quest for every drag racer, from the weekend warrior Super Street competitor to the 7,000-horsepower gladiators in Top Fuel. When they do earn one, they cling to it with great passion because they know there’s no guarantee they’ll ever win another one.

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