CORDOVA, Ill. (July 18, 2018) –  Drag Racing legends Don “Big Daddy” Garlits, Shirley “Cha Cha” Muldowney, and Arnie “The Farmer” Beswick will serve as the Masters of Ceremonies for the 65th annual O’Reilly Auto Parts World Series of Drag Racing at Cordova (Ill.) International Raceway August 24-26.

Garlits, Muldowney, and Beswick will participate in pre-race ceremonies Saturday evening. Additionally, they will sign autographs for fans Friday and Saturday (times and location TBD).

  • Don “Big Daddy” Garlits, is considered the father of drag racing and a pioneer in the sport. The 17-time World Champion driver who amassed 144 national event titles is famous for his innovative Swamp Rat dragster designs. His most famous dragster Swamp Rat XXX, sits on display at the National Museum of American History, Washington, D.C.

  • Shirley “Cha Cha” Muldowney, the “First Lady of Drag Racing,” was the first woman to receive a license to drive a Top Fuel Dragster. The three-time World Champion has 18 national event titles and was the first person to win three Top Fuel titles.

  • If it’s a Pontiac, you can bet Arnie “The Farmer” Beswick of Morrison, Ill., has driven it. Beswick has won numerous national events over the course of his career. He has raced factory stockers to supercharged funny cars and can be seen at various Nostalgic events around the country.


“These names are iconic in drag racing and we are thrilled to have them participate in The O’Reilly Auto Parts World Series of Drag Racing,” Cordova International Raceway President Dominic Blasco said. “We are looking forward to an exciting event weekend!”

General admission tickets for The O’Reilly Auto Parts World Series of Drag Racing start at $30 for Friday, $40 Saturday and $15 Sunday. Tickets for children ages 6-12 are $10 for Friday, $10 for Saturday, and $5 Sunday. A three-day “Super Pass” ticket for the entire weekend is $75 for adults and $20 for children 6-12.


To purchase discounted tickets, visit a participating O’Reilly Auto Parts store.


For more information on The O’Reilly Auto Parts World Series of Drag Racing visit or call 309-654-2110 to purchase general admission tickets.


About Cordova International Raceway:

Cordova International Raceway™ (CIR) is home of The O’Reilly Auto Parts World Series of Drag Racing, the world’s longest continually running drag racing event. Located in the Quad Cities region of Illinois and Iowa, the 190-acre facility features a 1/4-mile drag racing strip sanctioned by the International Hot Rod Association™.


Weekend drag racing events are held all summer. Specialty events include the Super Chevy Show and the River Redemption Series. For more information on Cordova International Raceway, visit or connect on Facebook @RaceCordova.