Tom McEwen, won the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) U.S. Nationals during part of his 45-year career. He is listed as number 16 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 largely originally used as a device to entice Don "the Snake" Prudhomme into a high-exposure match race. 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" of that era. McEwen won five NHRA national events, but his gift for gab and promotional ability made him one of the sport's most influential and controversial figures. As stated by Roland Leong,“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
08/22/17 • 120 min
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