Snake Wins Class in Mexican 1000

Don “Snake” Prudhomme isn’t finished winning. The standout drag racer who has earned wins as both a driver and team owner in NHRA’s Camping World Drag Racing Series, has developed a love of off-road racing and wanted to prove himself in one of the most difficult competitions in the world, the 2021 Yokohama NORRA Mexican 1000.

This year was Prudhomme’s third attempt at this race after entering the event in both 2018 and 2019. With backing from MAVTV, Prudhomme and his co-pilot Rich Minga took victory in the Evolution Stock Turbo class with a CanAm Maverick Turbo, finishing the grueling race in 19 hours, 49.18 minutes, which gave the duo a margin of more than three hours to their closest competitor. They not only won their class, but finished 31st overall out of 90 total entries, 26 of which never saw those checkered flags at the end.

“I am pretty sore,” Prudhomme explained, “but winning this race in the Turbo class ranks right up there with any of my drag racing wins. I think I drove 600 of the 1,000 miles and Rich was great throughout the event. I have to thank Brandon Bernstein and MAVTV for their support. This was a great race and I am really proud of this whole team.”

Fuel pump issues kept Prudhomme and his team from capturing the Mexican 1000 two years ago, but this year their CanAm Maverick Turbo was running at the front of their class throughout the long race. They held on to their sizable lead over the last portion of the race to ensure this class victory, giving Prudhomme his first visit to a winner’s circle since earning a Top Fuel driver’s trophy at the 1993 NHRA Chief Nationals, now known as the NHRA FallNationals, held at Texas Motorplex in Ennis, TX.

“I love this race and it is a great accomplishment just to finish, much less win the class,” the 80-year-old Prudhomme said. “This is something new that I have gotten into and I just wanted to challenge myself. Throughout the race we were having a lot of fun and when we crossed the finish line it as a great feeling.”

The Mexican 1000 is actually a five-day, off-road rally, run by the National Off-Road Racing Association (NORRA). It’s a celebration of off-road racing history and vintage off-road machinery. The race began on Friday, April 23rd in Ensenada, Baja California and ended Friday, April 30th back at Ensenada. The course was re-routed for 2021 to comply with COVID strictures and was run as a 1,000-mile loop, open to cars, buggies, trucks and motorcycles from all eras of Baja racing.

About Anne Proffit 921 Articles
Anne Proffit traces her love of racing - in particular drag racing - to her childhood days in Philadelphia, where Atco Dragway, Englishtown and Maple Grove Raceway were destinations just made for her. As a diversion, she was the first editor of IMSA’s Arrow newsletter, and now writes about and photographs sports cars, Indy cars, Formula 1, MotoGP, NASCAR, Formula Drift, Red Bull Global Rallycross - in addition to her first love of NHRA drag racing. A specialty is a particular admiration for the people that build and tune drag racing engines.

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