MOLINE, Ill. — Local racing fans are set to get their fix this weekend when the O'Reilly Auto Parts World Series of Drag Racing rolls into Cordova Dragway Park. This year, coordinators have worked in a little something extra for the series' diamond jubilee — or 60th anniversary.
Don "Big Daddy Garlits highlights an all-star cast of dragsters that also includes Bruce Litton, Melaine Troxel, Chris "The Greek" Karamesines and Tim Wilkerson among others. Garlits has raced since 1955 and his numerous feats include defeating the fastest East Coast driver right in Cordova. He is the winner of 17 national championships and 144 major open events.
Troxel, a Top Fuel racer, is one of the "First Ladies in Drag Racing." She's the winner of nine national events and one of 14 drivers to ever win a Nitro Funny Car and Top Fuel Dragster event. Her accolades have garnered her two ESPY nominations for Best Driver and Female Athlete. She has also spent time as an ESPN pit reporter.
Dozens of nitro entries will compete at the World Series in an effort to leave their marks in the record books. The engines fire up tonight at 7 with Cruz and Tony Pedregon racing in an NHRA Nitro Funny Car match. Following that is the DRO AA-Funny Car Challenge qualifiers and Victory Performance Super Stocks. Jets and wheelstanders will also be on display for audience entertainment.
The event concludes Saturday. Starting at 6 p.m. Cordova will feature NHRA Top Fuel Dragsters and Funny Cars and Top Fuel twin engine dragsters racing front engine Nitro dragsters among other races.
Tickets on both days can be purchased at the gate or at O'Reilly Auto Parts locations.