GLENDORA, Calif. -- It was 35 years ago, at the 1970 NHRA Winternationals, that Bill "Grumpy" Jenkins crossed the finish line and became the first NHRA Pro Stock national event winner.
Throughout that decade and into the '80s, the name Bob Glidden, a 10-time NHRA POWERade world champion, was synonymous with Pro Stock racing.
The next decade brought a new dominant player, Warren Johnson, who broke the 200 mph barrier and, in his illustrious career, has posted the most NHRA national event wins of any Pro Stock competitor while earning six world championships. Following in his father's footsteps is Kurt Johnson, the first Pro Stock driver to make a run quicker than seven seconds and as fierce a competitor as one can find in the category, having finished in the top 10 in the NHRA POWERade championship standings every year of his professional career, dating back to 1993.
To celebrate the last 35 years of Pro Stock racing, NHRA will bring all four legends together as part of the NHRA Breakfast of Champions reception at the SEMA Show, Nov. 2 at 7:30 a.m. Joined by Fred Simmonds, marketing manager for GM Racing, and hosted by long-time NHRA announcer Bob Frey, the morning event is sure to bring with it some great stories of the glory years of Pro Stock racing and what the future holds for one of the most competitive categories in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.
For years, Jenkins, Glidden and Warren Johnson competed side-by-side for the chance to be called king of the Pro Stock class, competing at drag strips across the country and as part of the NHRA Drag Racing Series in the '70s and '80s. Today, the competition lives on as all three individuals are still very much involved in the sport with Jenkins supplying his famed horsepower to a number of today's competitors; Glidden calling the shots as crew chief on the two Don Schumacher Racing entries in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series; and Warren Johnson still behind the wheel and tuning his own car as he and son, Kurt, compete for yet another NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series world championship.
Those in attendance will be entertained with a special video, utilizing NHRA's vast historical library, that is sure to feature some video clips of these legends in action that haven't been seen since their original airing some three decades ago. A continental breakfast will be served to all in attendance and the event has been scheduled early enough in the morning to afford SEMA visitors and exhibitors plenty of time to attend the premier automotive specialty products trade event in the world. The SEMA show draws the industry's brightest minds and hottest products to one place, the Las Vegas Convention Center.
The NHRA Breakfast of Champions is free to those registered to attend the SEMA Show that week.
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