Known as "Big Daddy," Don Garlits was the first driver to eclipse the 170, 180, 200, 240, 250 and 270 mph thresholds on quarter-mile drag strips around the nation, and next weekend, the NHRA legend of the '60s '70s and '80s will serve as the grand marshal for the 3rd Annual Summit Racing Equipment Atlanta Motorama at Atlanta Motor Speedway April 16-17.

Garlits, who will appear on both days of the gigantic automotive festival along with his Swamp Rat rail dragster, is the father of modern drag racing, pioneering the design for the rear-engine, top-fuel dragster and has his fingerprints on the development of the full-body driver fire suit.

His drag racing accolades include 10 American Hot Rod Association championships, four International Hot Rod Association championships and three National Hot Rod Association crowns during the '60s, '70s and '80s. These days, he owns and operates the Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing near his home in Ocala, Florida and still appears regularly on ESPN as a drag racing color commentator.

Fans can meet Garlits during a special Q&A session on the show's Bojangle's Main Stage at 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 16 and 12:20 p.m. on Sunday.

Along with Garlits, many other motoring exhibitions and activities will make up the 3rd Annual Summit Racing Equipment Atlanta Motorama, including over 1,000 custom and show cars and vehicles from every decade in the last century. Details regarding opportunities to meet the celebrities as well as complete schedules and show updates are available online at

Admission to the Summit Racing Equipment Atlanta Motorama is $12 per day. Kids ages 6 through 11 will be admitted for $5, with kids 5 and under admitted for free. For complete event information and to purchase tickets, contact the Atlanta Motor Speedway ticket office at (770) 946-4211, (877) 9-AMS-TIX or visit