Carl Olson, former NHRA vice-president and a key player in establishing the FIA European Drag Racing Commission and Championship is planning a visit to the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Gala evening which is taking place on Saturday 19th November at the Sheraton Skyline Hotel at London’s Heathrow Airport.
After Carl’s first exposure to drag racing whilst he served in the U.S. Coast Guard, in the 1960s he became crew chief, driver and eventually owner for some Top Fuel teams racing in California. In 1970 he was offered the drive in Mike Kuhl's Top Fuel Dragster.
In 1971 the pair became partners in one of the first mid-engine cars to be built which they debuted at the NHRA U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis and won Best Appearing Car at that event. After winning the 1972 NHRA Winternationals with a new Donovan Engineering 417 aluminum Hemi engine they became full time professional racers, won the legendary “Last Drag Race” at Lions Drag Strip and gained membership in the exclusive Cragar Five-Second Club.
In five years the pair won many major races. In 1973 they sold their car to BDRHoF member Clive Skilton who imported it to the UK.
Photo: Simon Groves
At the end of the 1974 season Carl made the decision to retire from racing and became active within the sport and the industry, first as the General Manager of Waterman Racing Engines, Inc. then joining SEMA (the Specialty Equipment Market Association) as its Technical & Legislative Director. He then held several positions over 25 years at the NHRA, and in 2001 he became Motorsports Manager at the SFI Foundation, Inc.
In addition to his drag racing history, Carl has many accomplishments and honours including membership of the Bonneville 200 MPH Club, International Drag Racing Hall of Fame, and several positions within SEMA including a seat on its Board of Directors.
He served as the founding President of the FIA Drag Racing Commission and as consultant to several race facilities around the world. He was inducted into the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame in 2012. On that occasion, he jetted in and out of the country within 24 hours. This time, he and his wife, Kathy, will have several days to spend at their leisure over the Gala weekend.
Carl said 'I enjoyed visiting England frequently in the 1990s and 2000s and it will be a happy return to see many friends I have missed in the meantime'.
Chairman Stu Bradbury said 'We are delighted that Carl will be returning to the UK for the 2016 Gala. After his flying visit for the induction ceremony in 2012, we look forward to enjoying the pleasure of his and Kathy’s company for a more relaxing few days on this trip.’.
News about the Gala and other events will be published on the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame website, www.britishdragracinghof.co.uk and eurodragster.com, the sport's premier web site in Europe. The names of 2016’s inductees into the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame will be announced on these sites at Santa Pod Raceway’s Dragstalgia meeting, 15th-17th July. 2016 marks the 10th anniversary of the Hall of Fame’s founding and the admission of its first members. The Gala Awards Dinner was first presented in 2014
2016 Gala Awards Tickets
Ticket prices for the 2016 BDRHoF Gala Awards Dinner remain as last year at £60 per person. Corporate tables of 10 are available at £580. For advance booking of tickets contact BritishDRHOF@aol.com or telephone Stu Bradbury on 01933 279102.