Snake & Mongoose To Join MAVTV's Despain At PRI's Grand Opening Breakfast | Performance Racing Industry
Snake & Mongoose To Join MAVTV's Despain At PRI's Grand Opening Breakfast
August 4, 2014
Drag racing legends Don ‘Snake’ Prudhomme and Tom ‘Mongoose’ McEwen will share their colorful racing stories at the Grand Opening Breakfast, kicking off the world’s largest gathering of motorsports professionals.
Snake & Mongoose To Join MAVTV's Despain At PRI's Grand Opening Breakfast

This is going to be fun!

On the morning of Thursday, December 11, 2014, the great heritage of the Grand Opening Breakfast at the Performance Racing Industry Trade Show continues with the special appearance of two of the biggest names in drag racing’s storied history: Don ‘Snake’ Prudhomme and Tom ‘Mongoose’ McEwen.

The two were part of the greatest rivalry in drag racing history—Snake and Mongoose! With 49 career victories, Prudhomme ranks sixth in NHRA history for most wins. Beginning his driving career in 1962, he was the first driver to win the NHRA series title four consecutive times. McEwen is listed as No. 16 of the 50 most significant drivers of NHRA’s first 50 years, winning five NHRA national events.

McEwen started racing in 1953, and received the nickname “the Mongoose” in 1964 from engine builder Ed Donovan as a way to promote Funny Car match races against Prudhomme, nicknamed Snake. McEwen’s promotional abilities evolved into a 1969 deal with Mattel’s Hot Wheels toy line that become one of the biggest, most successful national promotions in racing history.

The Hot Wheels promotion of Prudhomme’s Plymouth Barracuda and McEwen’s Plymouth Duster was so big, and made such an impact on so many children at the time, that Mattel organized a two-day, 35-year anniversary celebration in 2005. The original Hot Wheels Snake and Mongoose toys are now highly sought-after collectibles.

A film on the two Southern California drag racers was released in 2013.

“We’re honored to have Don Prudhomme and Tom McEwen as our special on-stage guests at the Grand Opening Breakfast,” said John Kilroy, producer of the PRI Trade Show. “In addition to their skills as racers, they were responsible for a promotion that started countless boys, as well as girls, dreaming about becoming drag racers.

“I’ve seen Don and Tom together before, and the friendship and the rivalry of Snake and Mongoose will be a treat for the audience, as Dave Despain is sure to draw out their best racing stories,” continued Kilroy.

The Grand Opening Breakfast begins at 8 a.m., Thursday, December 11, 2014, with doors set to open at 7 a.m. It will be held in the Sagamore Ballroom of the Indiana Convention Center.

The PRI Trade Show takes place Thursday, Friday and Saturday, December 11–13, 2014, in Indianapolis. Over 1100 industry suppliers occupying 3200 booths will exhibit the latest developments in auto racing technology before 40,000 attendees from the US and 70 countries. It is the premier trade show for motorsports professionals throughout the world. It is open to the trade only; race fans are not permitted.

To register for the PRI Trade Show, or for more information, go to