Muldowney, Garlits to appear at Sebastiani
SHIRLEY MULDOWNEY will be in Sonoma Saturday, July 30, for a benefit showing of her Academy Award-nominated bio-film, "Heart Like a Wheel" at the Sebastiani Theatre.
Shirley Muldowney, the first lady (literally) of drag racing, winner of three top fuel championships and 18 NHRA national events, will be in Sonoma Saturday, July 30, for a benefit showing of her Academy Award-nominated bio-film, "Heart Like a Wheel" at the Sebastiani Theatre.
To be shown in conjunction with the FRAM Autolite NHRA Nationals Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event at Infineon Raceway, July 29 to 31, the screening will benefit the Sonoma Chapter of Speedway Children's Charities and the Sebastiani Theatre Foundation.
Muldowney, who was the first women licensed by the NHRA to race a top fuel dragster, will appear with another drag racing legend, Don "Big Daddy" Garlits at a wine and cheese reception and a question and answer session before and after the film showing.
Released in 1983, "Heart Like a Wheel" recounts Muldowney's exploits as a rebellious and outspoken high school dropout who followed her passion to the pinnacle of drag racing.
Muldowney had to fight her way through a tradition-bound sport to win acceptance and recognition, but once drag racing's elite understood how good she was for the sport, they embraced her and made her their queen.
Garlits has been called the "father of drag racing." He was the first racer to reach speeds of 200, 240, 250, 260 and 270 miles an hour in a quarter mile and he pioneered the design of rear-engine race cars after losing part of a foot when the engine disintegrated on his front-engine dragster. Like Muldowney, Garlits won three NHRA world championships, but he also won a total of 144 national events.
In 2003, when he was 71-years-old, Garlits recorded his fastest quarter mile with a time of 4.788 seconds at a speed of 319.88 mph.
The "Heart Like a Wheel" evening will begin with the reception at 6 p.m. followed by the movie at 6:30 p.m. and Q&A at 8:30 p.m. A limited-edition "Heart Like a Wheel" poster signed by Muldowney will also be available for $10 with all proceeds benefitting the two nonprofit organizations.
Tickets are $50 each and can be purchased by calling 800-870-RACE (7223) or at infineonraceway.com. Tickets are also available at the Sebastiani Theatre (sebastianitheatre.com or call 996-9756) in downtown Sonoma.