Drag racing fans, get ready for ‘Snake and Mongoo$e’ to ride again

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It’s been a question for the ages: which is faster, the Snake or the Mongoo$e?

It’s a question that was arguably one of the most-asked during the late 1960s and 1970s when Don “The Snake” Prudhomme and Tom “The Mongoo$e” (yes, there was a $ instead of an “s”) McEwen engaged in one of the most fearsome rivalries in NHRA drag racing history.

They’re the ones that prompted one of the most famous lines in drag racing history: “Sunday, Sunday, Sunday …”.

Two drivers so diametrically opposite of each other became rivals, then friends then business partners, making the Snake and Mongoo$e brand one of the most high-profile in all of sports for nearly a quarter-century.

McEwen and Prudhomme barnstormed their Funny Cars across the country at any quarter-mile that would have them, giving drag racing legitimacy and moving it into the mainstream of professional sports. It lead to one of the biggest promotions in sports history with Mattel’s Hot Wheels, which remain popular with kids today.

Last year, a movie was released across the country that very accurately portrayed the two quartermile hotshots’ careers. It was appropriately named “Snake & Mongoo$e.”

Now, the first major Hollywood-made drag racing movie since “Heart Like A Wheel” was released in 1983, portraying Top Fuel drag racing legend Shirley Muldowney’s life, is or will soon be available for drag racing fans to enjoy.

Anchor Bay Entertainment announced this week that the riveting account of Prudhomme and McEwen will be available On Demand on some cable TV systems and on iTunes and Amazon Instant Movies as early as this week, with the DVD of the movie set for nationwide release on April 8.

In its review, Road & Track Magazine called the film “a colorful portrait of drag racing’s most famous rivalry. The cars are ridiculously cool, the soundtrack is sexy and fun, and the final moments are very moving.”

Jesse Williams (of Lee Daniels’ The Butler and Grey’s Anatomy) plays Prudhomme, while Richard Blake (of Dragonball: Evolution) plays McEwen.

Other stars include Fred Dryer (Hunter), “Noah Wyle (ER, Falling Skies), Ian Ziering (Sharknado) and Tim Blake Wilson (O Brother, Where Art Thou?).

If you’re a long-time drag racing fan or a newcomer, the film tells a great deal not only about McEwen and Prudhomme’s rivalry, but also the roots of drag racing and the NHRA. The film contains real footage of several classic battles between the pair, as well.

As Moviereporter.com put it, “It’s a lot more than a racing movie.”

Check out the official trailer below.

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MRTI: Telitz gets creative to help racing career

Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography
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To say that Belardi Auto Racing’s Aaron Telitz has endured a difficult start to the 2018 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires season would be an understatement. The Wisconsin native only completed four corners through the first three races – Races 1 and 2 at St. Petersburg, and Race 1 at Barber Motorsports Park – with St. Pete being especially problematic.

He took the pole for Race 1, but a crash during qualifying for Race 2 prevented him from actually starting. What’s more, the damage was so severe that the Belardi team needed a brand new chassis, with Telitz’s Dallara IL-15 damaged beyond repair.

They also had to borrow a car from Carlin for Race 2, but Telitz’s race ended after he got tangled up with Victor Franzoni in Turn 2 on Lap 1.

With the damage bill well into the six figures as a result, Telitz has taken to some unique, or rather, creative ways to raise money in the aftermath to help cover the costs. “Creative,” in this case, meaning Telitz is using his art skills.

An artist in his spare time, Telitz has begun selling his own original paintings to help raise money.

 “I’ve been to a lot of art shows and I see stuff and I go, ‘Holy cow, someone’s going to pay a thousand dollars for that thing?’” Telitz quipped in a story posted on the Milwaukee Journal.

In discussing his artistic abilities, Telitz added, “I’m working at getting better. I’d like to be able to paint some animals, those types of things. I got a request from Alexander Rossi to see if I could paint his dog. Unfortunately I can’t do that yet.”

Further, in a partnership with The Styled Garage, Telitz is selling his own merchandise, and accepting donations, to help his cause.

Telitz finished fourth in Race 2 at Barber on Sunday, and sits seventh in the Indy Lights championship, 59 points behind leader Pato O’Ward.

Follow@KyleMLavigne