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2014 NHRA: NHRA Salutes The Gwynn Family Championship Racecars As They Tour During The 2014 NHRA Season
Posted by: newsla on Mar 11, 2014 - 06:05 AM
2014 NHRA: NHRA Salutes The Gwynn Family Championship Racecars As They Tour During The 2014 NHRA Season

The restored championship Hemi-powered racecars of Jerry and Darrell Gwynn will be on display at several NHRA racetracks during the 2014 season during the “Gwynn Family Championship Racecars Tour” saluted by the NHRA. The racecars commemorate two motorsports legends and the NHRA’s first ever father/son world champions. The racecars were returned to the Gwynn’s with the complete bodies and chassis intact and they underwent a period perfect restoration.


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Jerry and Darrell Gwynn became the first ever father/son NHRA world champions in drag racing when Darrell, won the 1983 Top Alcohol Championship. His father Jerry, a pioneer in drag racing, had previously been crowned the 1969 Super Eliminator Champion. The “Gwynn Family Championship Racecars Tour” will showcase the championship cars driven by the two legends during their championship seasons. Jerry Gwynn’s 1969 Hemi-powered AA/Altered Super Eliminator world championship racecar, and Darrell Gwynn’s 1983 Hemi-powered Top Alcohol world championship racecar, will be on display for nostalgic drag racing fans at five NHRA events this season.

“These two Hemi-powered racecars appeared after all these years unexpectedly and coincidentally around the same time last year,” said NHRA Hall of Famer, Darrell Gwynn. “My father and I were shocked to see the cars we both won our championships in. I invited a lot of my Dad’s racing buddies to the shop and surprised him with his car after it was very generously donated back to us by Mr. and Mrs. Buddy Abbott. We thought it would be a lot of fun to restore them and take them on tour around the NHRA to share with the fans.” “It’s particularly exciting for us to be on this tour during the 50th anniversary of the iconic Hemi engine, which powered both of our racecars. My father and I feel proud to have added to the Hemi legacy, by winning championships in Hemi-powered racecars.”

Our friends at JKS Motorsports will haul the racecars around the country so fans can enjoy them. The racecars will make their debut at the Amalie Oil NHRA Gatornationals on March 13-16 at the Auto Plus Raceway in Gainesville, Florida. There, the two championship racecars will make their debut after a complete period perfect restoration was conducted by Jerry Gwynn. NHRA fans will be treated to a special pre-race ceremony to unveil the cars at the Gatornationals.

Gwynn Family Championships Racecars Tour Schedule

Date Event Location

Mar. 13-16 NHRA Amalie Oil Gatornationals Gainesville, Fla.

June 12-14 Holly National Hot Rod Reunion Bowling Green, KY

(presented by AAA Insurance)

Aug. 27-Sept. 1 NHRA Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals Indianapolis, IN

Sept. 12-14 New England Hot Rod Reunion Epping, NH

(presented by AAA Insurance)

Oct. 17-19 California Hot Rod Reunion Bakersfield, CA

(presented by Automobile Club of Southern California)

Hall of Fame driver, Darrell Gwynn, won 28 national events including 18 Top Fuel NHRA events during his racing career. A rising star in the NHRA, his career was tragically cut short when he sustained a spinal cord injury in an exhibition race in England in 1990. He continued on as a racing team owner, notably partnering with the late George Steinbrenner to form the Gwynn/Steinbrenner racing team which competed until 2003. In 2002, Darrell along with his wife Lisa, founded the Darrell Gwynn Foundation whose mission is to provide support for people living with paralysis and prevent spinal cord injuries. He still serves as president and to-date his foundation has donated 300 custom power wheelchairs, at an average cost of $25,000, to individuals in need.

As a champion driver, Jerry Gwynn set several National records in his AA/Altered racecar and won four NHRA Southeast divisional titles. He also claimed the 1981 NHRA Cajun Nationals title. In September 1999, Gwynn, along with his wife Joan and son Darrell, was awarded drag racing's most prestigious honor – The Ollie Award, for citizenship in the sport of drag racing, presented by Car Craft Magazine. In 2010, Jerry Gwynn along with his son Darrell was inducted into the Maple Grove Raceway Hall of Fame. Jerry was instrumental in creating the Darrell Gwynn Foundation and serves as its operations director today.

Sponsorships are available for the “Gwynn Family Championship Racecars Tour” in 2014. Sponsors will have the ability to showcase their brands, and appear at events and promotions for the racecars taking advantage of marketing and hospitality packages.

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