Senior staff writer
The tributes to NHRA Pro Stock legend Bob Glidden, who died Dec. 17, 2017, poured in during the 64th Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway in Brownsburg. The tributes took place Friday:
• Widow Etta Glidden accepted Indiana’s highest honor, the Sagamore of the Wabash, presented in memory of her husband, who won nine Nationals and 10 Pro Stock championships.
• Opening day of the Nationals pro competition will be known as Bob Glidden Day at the track and throughout Hendricks County.
• Pro Stock cars and drivers lined the return road adjacent to the drag strip in his honor. • Two white and blue 1978 Pro Stock Ford Fairmonts went down the strip in Glidden’s honor.
• Funny Car competitor Bob Tasca III raced a 2018 Mustang with red and white Motorcraft colors of Glidden’s famed 1988 Thunderbird.
“When the cars lined the return road, it brought tears to my eyes,” son Rusty Glidden said. “It was an unbelievable tribute from Pro Stock competitors.” Tasca was 12 years old when he met Bob Glidden at an NHRA race. “That was the first car I saw him drive,” Tasca said. “He was more than a driver and champion. He took me under his wing and showed me that it took determination and passion to win.”
Glidden’s older son, Billy, competed in Pro Mod, where he continued to struggle at the Nationals. Racing a smaller Ford engine boosted by nitrous oxide, he was mired in last place until his final run of 5.955 seconds, too slow to make the 16-field finals. His crew chief is wife and Greenwood native Shannon Springer Glidden.
Shipp in semis
The Franciscan Health respiratory therapist was edged by only 3 feet by Texan Jerry Emmons in SE semis Monday. In Super Gas the difference was eight-hundredths of seconds to winner Steve Hoyt. Each run ended Shipp’s best experience in the Nationals.
“This was really exciting because this is my home track. All my runs were good and without any real trouble. All my races were so close.”
He was the most successful of four Shipp family racers at the track. Patriarch Randy Shipp reached the third round before outed, while daughters Randi Lynn and Kristi did not make it past the first round. Greenwood’s Rob Goodrich fell in the first round.
Later he was slower off the line by thirteen-thousandths of a second and lost to former teammate Erica Enders. U.S.
Nationals pro winners: L.E. Tonglet, ’03 Suzuki TL, motorcycle; Tanner Gray, ’18 Camaro, Pro Stock; J.R. Todd, ’18 Camry, Funny Car; and Terry McMillen, ’18 DSR dragster, Top Fuel.