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[赛车世界] NHRA legend Tom “the Mongoose” McEwen dies aged 81

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aatest 发表于 2018-6-14 03:42:50 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式 打印 上一主题 下一主题
 
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One of the most iconic figures in NHRA history, Tom McEwen, died yesterday aged 81.
McEwen won just five NHRA races yet helped elevate the sport’s status when he came up with the idea of building a rivalry with Don ‘The Snake’ Prudhomme by acquiring the moniker of ‘The Mongoose’. By 1970, the idea had earned the pair sponsorship from Mattel Hot Wheels and they’d become household names to anyone interested in motorsport.
McEwen first began racing in 1953, driving ‘stock’ Oldsmobiles at Santa Ana Dragstrip in Irvine, Calif., and Lions Dragstrip in Long Beach, but he rapidly moved up to dragsters.
One of these was Gene Adams' Albertson Oldsmobile which led to him racing Adams’ ‘Shark car’, a dragster featuring a sexy metallic blue body. In side-profile its tail did indeed resemble that of a shark, and with dragsters of the time running front engines, the ‘tail’ formed the semi-enclosed cockpit for McEwen.
But as well as driving such a striking car, McEwen also said the experience gained with Adams improving his technique. Speaking to NHRA, when in 2001 the series compiled its list of the 50 greatest drivers, McEwen said: "Driving for [Adams] was like going to college for me. I had to learn to drive all over again; to get the feeling of driving without smoking the tires."
In ’63, he scored victory against Art Malone at the Bakersfield March Meet in California. In ’64, McEwen took on Prudhomme, using the Donovan Engineering Special and won in two straight sets.
Later that year, McEwen used Lou Baney's Yeakel Plymouth-sponsored dragster to beat the 32-car UDRA field at Fontana Raceway and then took Top Fuel honors at Lions Dragstrip and Pomona Raceway.
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aatest 发表于 2018-6-14 12:43:17 | 显示全部楼层
 
Tom McEwen,[1][2][3] (January 14, 1937[4] – June 10, 2018)[5][6] was an American drag racer who was a winner of the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) U.S. Nationals. His racing career spanned 45 years. He is ranked at number 16 on a list of the 50 most significant drivers of NHRA’s first 50 years. He received the nickname "the Mongoose" in 1964 from engine builder Ed Donovan. It was originally used as a device to entice Don "the Snake" Prudhomme into a high-exposure match race.[7]

In 1965, he faced Hot Wheels teammate Don Prudhomme at the Hot Rod Magazine Championship Drag Races, held at Riverside Raceway, "one of the most significant drag racing events"[8] of that era, even though the Top Fuel Eliminator (TFE) trophy went to Jim Warren.[9]

McEwen won five NHRA events, but his gift for gab and promotional ability made him one of the sport's most influential and controversial figures.[10]

As stated by Roland Leong,[3] "McEwen was the smartest of the bunch. When he came up with the Hot Wheels deal using the Snake and Mongoose characters, it shook the world of drag racing big time. He produced a sponsorship package that allowed him and Prudhomme to buy the best equipment, pay expenses, make money and sell their image all over the United States. I hate to admit it but McEwen and Prudhomme showed us the way to the future. They were a lot smarter than most of us who didn't see past the end of the quarter-mile."

Tom McEwen had three sons, two of whom are deceased, (Jamie and Joe), and Tom Jr., who is involved in the entertainment industry and lives in Southern California.
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