When beloved NHRA Pro Stock champion Bob Glidden passed away in 2017 at age 73, it was a huge loss for the straight-line racing community and for Ford Motor Co., with whom “Mad Dog” earned his 85 victories and 10 championships.
The vehicle manufacturer has decided to do something positive to remember the stalwart racer, who was loyal to the brand as he racked up his multitude of victories in 122 final round appearances. Included in Glidden’s accomplishments were nine U.S. Nationals titles in his home state of Indiana.
The Ford family intends to honor the work ethic that was Glidden’s calling card – his determination to succeed drove Bob Glidden to be one of the dominant racers in his sport. As he ascended from strength to strength, it was through support of the Glidden Family Racing team that included wife Etta and sons Billy and Rusty.
Ford Performance Parts has announced it will honor Ford drag racers with a new Bob Glidden “85/10” Award each year, to be presented at the annual December Performance Racing Industry (PRI) show in Indianapolis. Ford intends to use its branded products to recognize racers who show the kind of spirit, grit and determination that were Glidden’s calling cards.
A distinguished panel of experts will oversee the implementation of this award, which recognizes the number of wins and championships achieved by its namesake. Included in the panel of experts are Glidden’s son Billy and race series leaders; they will review Ford drag racers each year, announcing final nominees at the SEMA show in November with the award winner announced at PRI.
“Bob Glidden represented a great era in the sport of drag racing,” said Edsel B. Ford II, a member of Ford Motor Co.’s board of directors, “and that era featured hard-working racers who often had nothing but a great desire to succeed.
“Bob was a former Ford dealership mechanic from a small town in Indiana who, along with his wife and sons, took the family racing. Through sheer determination, innovation and hard work, they changed the face of Pro Stock racing,” Ford continued.
“Even with all the wins and records, Bob never forgot his Indiana roots, and the grit and determination it took for him to succeed. He was a Ford racing legend and we will always be grateful for the way he represented us in the sport.”
There are hundreds of drag racers competing throughout the country every weekend. “We want to help recognize their efforts, especially those who are long-time competitors like Bob was,” added Doug White, global performance parts manager for Ford Performance. “We’re proud to introduce this new Glidden ’85/10’ award to help honor Ford drag racers who have the same spirit, determination and grit that Bob had.”