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Bob Glidden was one of NHRA’s first and finest stars

By in Press Enterprise on December 21, 2017

By Louis Brewster

Bob Glidden, one of the first NHRA drag racing superstars, is being remembered for his achievements in the sport, where he won 85 Pro Stock national events and 10 season championships. Glidden passed away Sunday at his Whiteland, Ind., home. He was 73.

“He was a true competitor who left a lasting legacy of excellence both on and off the track. Our thoughts, prayers, and deepest condolences are with the Glidden family,” NHRA president Peter Clifford said.

Glidden is survived by wife, Etta, who acted as his crew chief, and sons Rusty and Billy, who followed their father into the sport.

In his third season of NHRA competition, Glidden won his first title in 1974 and again a year later. He bounced back to win three consecutive championships from 1978 to 1980 and then five in a row from 1985 to 1989.

Glidden enjoyed racing in Southern California, notably Auto Club Raceway on the Los Angeles Fair Grounds in Pomona with a dozen victories. He won seven Winternationals (the last in 1989) and five Auto Club Finals (including the last one in 1990). Additionally, the man was once voted No. 4 on the list of top NHRA racers in the first 50 years also won six World Finals at Orange County International Raceway.

John Force, the Funny Car driver who was the first to surpass Glidden’s record win total, offered a unique perspective on the Ford driver.

“He was the man,” Force said. “But there’s the other side of Bob Glidden, the personal side of him as a person. The love that he had for his family, his boys and Etta. How he always treated everyone with respect, even if it was just in passing. That was the side of the man that I loved the most.

“He will be missed. I miss him already. But he’ll […]    

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