Alan Pittman and Terry Leggett had known of each other for a long time.
But their first real meeting at Texas Motorplex in October of 2010 has spawned a close friendship neither saw coming.
It’s also produced some of the best racing either has put together in their careers.
As part of the two-car Terry Leggett Racing (TLR) team in the ADRL, Pittman is thriving in the Mickey Thompson Extreme 10.5 class, putting together three wins and honing in on his first career world championship.
Leggett, meanwhile, has made tremendous strides in the Pro Extreme class, advancing to his first final earlier this month at the Summer Drags VIII in Martin, Mich.
Above that success, though, is a genuine friendship that both Leggett and Pittman cherish.
“It’s been a really good relationship. Alan’s a really good builder and a really good guy,” Leggett said. “He does what he says he’s going to do.”
Added Pittman: “Terry’s probably one of the most easy-going and giving people I’ve ever met in my life. To be honest, this is what’s racing about. It’s been a blessing. He’s become a friend and a best friend. This is a deal people wait all their lives for.”
That friendship was started at the ADRL World Finals in Dallas when Leggett was pitted next to Tommy D’Aprile.
Pittman was a last-minute fill-in to drive the Mel Bush Motorsports-owned trailer to Dallas, and there was a great deal of adversity that happened along the way. A fire broke out inside the trailer, ruining the Pro Extreme car and nearly everything inside it.
But the silver lining in the weekend was Pittman getting a chance to meet Leggett for the first time.
“We just kind of got to talking and I liked what he was saying, and we just became friends from there,” Leggett said.
The two continued to talk and Pittman came on board for the 2011 season, even driving Leggett’s old PX car in the Extreme 10.5 class for the final four events of the year.
Since then, the team has taken several more steps forward.
Pittman started the 2012 season in impressive fashion and became the immediate favorite in the XTF class, winning the first two races of the season.
With tuner Darrell Makins doing a marvelous job on both cars, Pittman went 3.84 in Bristol, putting together a fabulous stretch by going 3.85 in the finals for his second straight win.
Through it all, Pittman has continually praised his new racing family.
“There’s never been one word of conflict. It’s hard to put a team together and a partnership that works, but to spend time with his family, it feels like I’m part of the family now,” Pittman said. “We talk every day. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for him and his wife.”
The success has been a boon for Pittman’s Alan Pittman Race Cars business as well.
With his success in XTF and Leggett’s success in a Pittman-built Pro Extreme car, Pittman has been as busy as he’s been in several years.
Leggett continues to make strides in Pro Extreme, too, running 3.68 in a losing effort in the finals against Jason Scruggs at U.S. 131 Motorsports Park.
It was his first final and was another example of why Leggett is enjoying life these days.
“It sure has been a pretty good year. Alan’s car is really going good and if I could win a race, that would really be a big event for me,” Leggett said. “I really thought it could work like this. It’s been really good.”
Said Pittman: “We’ve had a lot of firsts this year, and I’ve had more than I’ve had in my life. It gives you cold chills. It was so cool to be able to se him run in the finals, and the feeling I had up there in the finals was just unbelievable.”
Pittman has been amazing in XTF, running as quick as 3.80, which is the second-quickest run in the history of the class.
But nothing topped the moment in Martin when Pittman won the event and then darted back to the starting line to watch his close friend run in the PX finals.
“Terry deserves a win and it’s coming, but that was the best feeling I ever had in drag racing,” Pittman said. “To have both those cars up there for the finals, it just doesn’t get any better than this right now.”
Of course, the only thing that would top that would be a championship for Pittman and an event win for Leggett in 2012.
“I would take that for sure,” Leggett said.
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