Words and photos by Ian Tocher
years, Billy Glidden has been “The Man” when it
comes to making small-block Ford horsepower—so much
so that his engine-building prowess has led to various sanctioning
bodies effectively legislating him from competition for winning
too much. Glidden, once dubbed the “Piranha” for
his ruthless approach to racing, picked up the demeanor and
learned the trade from his legendary father, Bob Glidden,
currently serving as crew chief for Richie Stevens on the
NHRA Pro Stock tour.
DRO caught up with the younger Glidden during the recent
Fun Ford Weekend at Atlanta Dragway, where he was well into
defending his 2004 FFW Street Outlaw championship with his
do the fans treat you as one of the best-known names in Fun
Glidden: You can see I don’t
rope off our pit; we have the doors off the car, so people
can look in if they want; and for the most part I’d
say 99.9 percent of the people are respectful of what we do.
are you running in this particular class and series?
Glidden: It’s really
the only place we have to race, period. To run other series
we’ve got to add a lot of weight and there’s just
not much else out there for us to race in. They’ve pretty
much reconstructed most of the places so that it doesn’t
make very much sense for us to race. I mean, there’s
no one with small-block nitrous cars racing in any sanction
that’s doing any good.
do you feel that you’ve been legislated out of some
series in the past?
Glidden: It don’t
matter what I feel. I mean everybody can read and see, so
it doesn’t matter.
must be frustrating, though, to develop a combination and
then have it outlawed.
Glidden: This horse rotted
and was buried a long time ago.
you considered mounting a run in a pro class like Pro Stock
or Pro Mod?
Glidden: I can’t hardly
make ends meet doing this, so how would I do that?
you not had the opportunity to drive for another team in the
Glidden: Not anything that
I’ve actively pursued. I’ve been there and to
me there’s no such thing as just driving. You pretty
much need to be hands on with the whole situation.
you’re not interested at all in just being a “hired-gun”
Glidden: Not with all the
hassles and headaches it brings when there’s bosses
or partners or whatever involved. There are too many peoples’
emotions and feelings in the way and everybody’s got
the right answers and I’d just rather not deal with