VISTA, CA (April 13, 2018) – 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.”
The Mexican 1000 is a five-day, off-road rally run by the National Off Road Racing Association (NORRA) as a celebration of off-road racing history and vintage off-road machinery. Cars, buggies, trucks, and motorcycles from all eras of Baja racing are eligible to participate in a variety of classes. The race begins Friday, April 20th in Ensenda, Baja, Mexico, and ends Thursday, April 26th in San Jose del Cabo, Baja, Mexico.
For more information about the NORRA Mexican 1000, go to www.norra.com
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. www.snakeracing.com
JEGS Mail Order and JEGS.com have been helping automobile enthusiasts for more than 58 years. Founded in 1960 by drag racing legend Jeg Coughlin, Sr., JEGS has been family owned for almost 60 years. During this time, it has become one of the largest and fastest-growing e-commerce automotive parts retailers in the United States. Its corporate headquarters in Delaware, Ohio, includes offices and a call center that are connected to an impressive 225,000-square foot warehouse and distribution center. The campus also includes a car museum and a racing shop that supports the Team JEGS racing team. JEGS.com
About PJ’s Performance
Son of racing legend and Indy 500 & Baja 1000 winner, Parnelli Jones, PJ Jones is also a successful driver. PJ Jones has piloted Sprint Cars and Indy Cars, NASCAR and various classes in the Baja 1000. He is the founder and operator of PJ’s Performance, which specializes in performance suspensions and components for UTVs. www.pjsperformance.com