Dramatic and emotional in every respect, the conclusion of the 1978 NHRA U.S. Nationals was the kind of event which could leave you breathless.
What made it so emotional was Don Garlits winning his fifth Nationals Top Fuel title; Tom "the Mongoose" McEwen scoring his first Indy win in Funny Car; Bob Glidden ruling in Pro Stock, again; John Samolyk upsetting the wild Pro Comp field; John Lingenfelter sweeping a tough Comp category; Bruce Sizemore topping the Modified troops; unheralded Stan White taking Super Stock honors; Don Holben capturing his first NHRA Stock crown; and Marion Owens scoring in the Fuel Bike category.
Weather-wise, no one could have asked for a better break. With the exception of Wednesday's half day of qualifying being rained out, it was clear skies and simply ideal conditions maintaining for the duration of drag racing's premier event.
Performance-wise, Indy '78 was more than spectacular -- it was just phenomenal! It was the quickest Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Comp fields ever. The flopper bump spot ended up at 6.21 seconds, Pro Stock 8.78 and Pro Comp 6.85 (for a 32-car field, no less!). Don Prudhomme and Raymond Beadle ran in the 5s just to give you an idea of the top-fight competition that was Indy '78.
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