It was a somber weekend as NHRA Pro Stock legand and Hall of Fame member Bob Glidden passed away Sunday at the age of 73 years old. The Pro Stock racer had been fighting health issues over the past few months.
Boasting one of the prolific drag racing careers, Glidden garnered ten NHRA Pro Stock championship titles and collected 85 national event wins through his 25 year professional racing career.
In 1972, sold his 1968 Cobra Jet Mustang in order to purchase a Gapp and Roush Pinto and he never looked back. He quit his job as a mechanic at a Ford dealership to concentrate full-time on Pro Stock racing, a rarity for the category in the early 1970s. It would earn him the nickname “Mad Dog” as his worth ethic was rivaled by few. Hard work and determination forced other teams, most notably the Reher-Morrison group, to re-evaluate their approach to Pro Stock in order to remain competitive with Glidden. His first NHRA championship came in 1974 after winning three national events and a score of divisional event victories. The Indiana-native didn’t have to wait long for his next title, as he followed up the next season, in 1975, with seven national event wins and his second straight Winston championship.
The run Glidden made in his 1978 Ford Fairmont stands today as one of the greatest streaks in professional drag racing history. He won nine straight national event titles and Glidden qualified number one in Pro Stock for 23 straight events in the late ’70s. He would also go on a 14-race number one qualifying streak in 1987 and his final Pro Stock championship was in 1988. Glidden would race for another eight complete seasons before pulling the plug on his operation in the opening months of the 1997 season due to Ford backing off funding for the program. He was voted as the fourth all-time driver in the NHRA Top 50 during the sanctioning body’s 50th anniversary celebration.
Glidden will always be remembered for his grit, determination, and outstanding work ethic on and off the drag strip.