Glidden misses field in Indy return
Reprinted from the Sept. 18, 1998 issue of National DRAGSTER
Absent from drag racing for 19 months, Bob Glidden returned to the sport at the U.S. Nationals. After running a crowd-rousing 7.06 in the first round of qualifying, he encountered difficulties in the remaining four sessions, run in less than ideal weather conditions, and failed to make the 7.040 bump.
"We probably could have gone a little quicker on Friday evening if I had more seat time in [Steve Schmidt's Dynagear Pontiac]," said Glidden. "But I didn't make a good run, and with the weather and track conditions in the other qualifying sessions, it was very difficult to run as fast as we needed to. The biggest problem I had this weekend was that the lack of time in the car kept me from giving [crew chief] Mark [Ingersoll] good feedback information after the run."
Glidden shut off in Saturday's first session when he thought that the engine was hurt, and a switch to another engine netted a 7.23 in Saturday's second round. Tire shake forced another shutoff Sunday morning, and
Glidden repeated the experience in the final qualifying round that afternoon.
Still, the return to drag racing was thoroughly enjoyable for Glidden. "The fans were just tremendous. I got to see so many familiar faces. It was really a great experience." An added bonus to Glidden's reappearance in Indy was a one-race associate sponsorship by the Ed Martin Automotive Group.
Glidden began his career as a line mechanic in the late 1960s at the Ed Martin dealership.
Glidden attracted more attention because he was driving a General Motors product, not one of his familiar Fords.
Said GM NHRA Drag Racing Manager Harry Turner, "We certainly like seeing him in a GM product rather than a Ford. The standing ovation he got from the fans during Friday's qualifying was one of the most emotional things I've seen in Pro Stock in many years. The class and sport need Bob's personality and driving ambition."