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Legendary Racer Tom “Mongoose” McEwen passes away

Monday, 11 June 2018
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Legendary competitor Tom “The Mongoose” McEwen who helped bring the sport of drag racing into the mainstream passed away Sunday. He was 81.
A winner in both Top Fuel and Funny Car competition, McEwen is best known for his classic rivalry with Don “The Snake” Prudhomme where the two engaged in match races around the country. Their association with the Mattel company and the Hot Wheels toy line brought drag racing into the homes of millions and helped open the door for such diverse sponsorships as Coca-Cola and the U.S. Army.
tom mongoose
McEwen, a member of the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame and the Motorsports Hall of Fame, won three races and made seven final-rounds in IHRA Nitro Funny Car competition. He scored wins at the 1977 Winter Nationals in Darlington, S.C., where he beat Shirl Greer in the final, and at the Summer Nationals in Union Grove, Wisc. He finished second to Dale Pulde in the championship standings that season.
 
His second win in the Winter Nationals came in 1984 when he defeated Prudhomme in the final round. 
 Mongoose
Starting his racing career in 1953, McEwen remained an immensely popular figure throughout his life, with a 2013 movie titled Snake and Mongoose featuring both the rivalry and friendship of Prudhomme and McEwen.  
 
Last modified on Monday, 11 June 2018
     
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