Table of Contents DRO Store Classifieds Speed Connections Archives & Search Contact DRO

Words and photos by Ian Tocher

or 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 1990 Mustang.

How do the fans treat you as one of the best-known names in Fun Ford racing?

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.

Why 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.

So, 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.

It must be frustrating, though, to develop a combination and then have it outlawed.

Glidden: This horse rotted and was buried a long time ago.

Have 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?

Have you not had the opportunity to drive for another team in the pro ranks?

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.

So, you’re not interested at all in just being a “hired-gun” type driver?

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 all that.


Copyright 1999-2005, Drag Racing Online and Autographix