Two of the most iconic figures in drag racing history have been added as honorary members to the B.R.A.K.E.S. (Be Responsible and Keep Everyone Safe) Board of Directors.

Four-time NHRA Funny Car champion Don “The Snake” Prudhomme and his legendary arch-rival Tom “The Mongoose” McEwen recently accepted the positions when offered by B.R.A.K.E.S. founder and fellow drag racing star, Doug Herbert.

Herbert, a four-time champion himself, having won four IHRA Top Fuel championships and 10 NHRA Top Fuel event titles, was thrilled to have his invitations accepted by two of his long-time drag racing idols.

“To have Don Prudhomme and Tom McEwen become honorary members of the B.R.A.K.E.S. board is such a major boost for our program”, says Herbert, whose series of Teen Pro-Active Driving Schools have given thousands of teenagers invaluable training to increase and enhance their conscientiousness, awareness, and attention while behind the wheel. “It’s an honor to have two drivers who have made so much drag racing history come aboard our team and offer their support.”

Prudhomme was also honored to be given the opportunity to join B.R.A.K.E.S. 

“I have a lot of respect and admiration for what Doug has accomplished with B.R.A.K.E.S.”, says Prudhomme, who retired from NHRA competition as a driver in 1994 and as an owner in 2010. “To see what’s he’s done to keep kids safer on the road and reduce the number of tragic accidents that threaten teenagers every day is something I think we can all get behind.”

Herbert’s two sons, Jon and James, were both killed in a traffic accident near their North Carolina home in January of 2008, motivating Herbert to create B.R.A.K.E.S soon thereafter. McEwen, who lost his teenage son, Jamie, to leukemia in 1978, can clearly relate to the loss of a child.

“It doesn’t matter how it happens”, says McEwen, No. 16 on the NHRA’s list of its 50 greatest drivers of all time. “When you lose a child, the pain is impossible to describe and Doug turned that pain into something positive by coming up with a way to prevent other parents from going through what he did.  If there’s anything I can do to help him spread the word, I’m ready to do it.”

Prudhomme and McEwen join an esteemed list of existing B.R.A.K.E.S. board members including Doug & Ginger Herbert, Heather Herbert, three-time NHRA Top Fuel champion Shirley Muldowney, NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle veteran Steve Johnson, Patti Wheeler, Tom Cotter, Dick Pacer, Wanda Miller, Dave Dobson, and Gerry Beatie.

For more information on B.R.A.K.E.S., make a donation, or see a schedule of upcoming Teen Pro-Active Driving Schools in 2012, please go to www.putonthebrakes.com

John Davison

Long-time RIS staffer, beginning in the mid-80s. Charlotte, NC area local contact.

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Volume 2012, Issue 3, Posted 1:45 PM, 03.19.2012