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Pro Stock Legend Bob Glidden Remembered as Racers’ Racer

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Bob Glidden, former IHRA and NHRA Pro Stock World Champion, is remembered for his hard work and dedication to the sport by his fellow racers.

Glidden, who died Monday at age 73, was a 10-time NHRA champion with a then-record 85 wins when he retired in 1997. He also was the 1976 IHRA World Champion and finished second to Bruce Allen in 1985 Pro Stock standings. He was a 21-time IHRA winner, leading the tour with nine wins and 10 final-round appearances during his 1976 championship season.

IHRA Vice President Skooter Peaco was a big fan of Glidden’s growing up. A model car of one Glidden’s most famous cars is a racing collectible from Peaco’s youth that he still owns.

“I still have one of those old Revell Pro Stock models that I had as a kid,” IHRA Vice President Skooter Peaco said. “It had his red Thunderbird on the box and it had his wife, Etta, and sons, Billy and Rusty, pictured with him. He was Mark Pawuk’s crew chief for a few races for the Summit team and I got to meet him and eat lunch with him one weekend in Las Vegas when I was working for Summit. He was the racers’ racer.”

Bob Glidden

Glidden, an inductee of both the International Motorsports Hall of Fame and the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America, also served crew chief for the Don Schumacher Racing team when he retired from driving.

"He was 10 years younger than my dad, but he was from that era when the guys were hard-working, blue-collar, seat-of-the-pants racers," IHRA Senior Consultant Mike Dunn said. "With all his championships and wins, Bob Glidden was one of the best, if not the best.

"I remember one time when Bob complimented me on the job I did on the TV show. He didn't have to do that. When you have a guy like him compliment you on something you've done for the sport, it meant a lot because there's not many people who have done more for the sport of drag racing than Bob Glidden. He was one of the great ones."

Allen Johnson, who recently retired from Pro Stock competition, remembered the example set by Glidden. During one test session, Johnson watched in amazement at how hard Glidden worked to get the car the way he wanted it.

“He was amazing with how hard he worked,” Johnson said. “It was always something to look up to and you enjoyed his success for the effort he put into it. He and Warren Johnson were similar. Everybody else would be shining their cars and those guys didn’t care if they had to take a hammer and beat the fender out to make it go faster.”

Last modified on Thursday, 21 December 2017
     
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