When Billy Glidden had a wicked wreck in his well-known Mustang in February, his family, friends, fellow racers and fans were focused first and foremost on his injuries.
As soon as he began to heal — and announced that he would indeed return to racing — they turned their focus to the 1968 Camaro he purchased from Jim Halsey.
“Ray Skillman and Todd Hoerner from Sonny’s Racing Engines helped us track the car down and get it,” said Glidden, whose wife, Shannon, is his crew chief. “We spent the last three and a half months working on it and redoing it from front to back to make our stuff fit in it and to make it so that I would be comfortable in it.”
According to Glidden, who declined to name the original chassis builder, Jerry Bickel of Jerry Bickel Race Cars offered guidance and helped Glidden choose some parts while he worked on the car in his home-based shop in Indiana.
When the chassis was ready, the Gliddens outfitted it with an NHRA-legal 903ci Hemi built by Sonny’s Racing Engines, and paired it with a Nitrous Outlet nitrous system to make things even more interesting. They backed it with a Liberty’s transmission and Ram clutch to transfer power to the pavement, and the Fab Shop supplied the headers for the car which rolls on a rear-end the Gliddens set up, a set of shocks supplied by Chris Bell of Kinetic Engineering and Mickey Thompson slicks.
Nick White of Industrial Rubber Technologies was on-board to lend a hand throughout the process, and as a result of their efforts, Glidden rolled the car out of the trailer at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indiana today, Aug, 23, 2017, to make test hits.
“We made two 400-foot hits and one hit to the eighth-mile, and our best was a 3.91 at 189 mph,” said Glidden.
Now, he’s making some adjustments before heading to the 16th Annual Honeywell Garrett NMCA All-American Nationals, Aug. 24-27, at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio, where he’ll enter VP Racing Fuels Xtreme Pro Mod, and according to Rollie Miller, National Event Director for NMCA, NMCA West and NMRA, 26 drivers are currently registered to take part in the event’s quickest and fastest category.
Then, he’ll head to the NHRA Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals, Aug. 30-Sept. 4 at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indiana.
“We’re glad to be back for the first time since the wreck in February,” said Glidden. “Now we can get back to racing and tire-testing for Mickey Thompson.”