The Legendary Driver Will Sign Autographs and Hang With Fans As Part of Event


Joliet, Ill. – (June 14, 2017) – Route 66 Raceway announced today that Tom “The Mongoose” McEwen will return to the NHRA Route 66 Nationals on July 6-9 to help celebrate the 20th Annual event weekend.


McEwen, the opposition in the storied rivalry with fellow competitor Don “The Snake” Prudhomme, will be on hand all weekend engaging with fans. The contentious “Snake and Mongoose” evolved into a global spectacle that helped bring drag racing to the mainstream.


“I look forward to returning to Route 66 Raceway for the NHRA weekend,” said McEwen. “The facility is hands down the nicest drag racing venue out there, the people are great, and I have a lot of family in the area. In fact, when I first started racing, I would stay with the Greek (Chris Karamesines) and would work on my car in his garage.”


“It’s been a while since The Mongoose has been behind the wheel, but he’s still one of the most recognizable names in the sport, and we look forward to bringing him back to Route 66 Raceway,” said Route 66 Raceway President Scott Paddock. “Few people have done more to elevate the sport of drag racing than The Mongoose, so having him on hand to take part in the celebration of our 20th Annual NHRA Route 66 Nationals means a lot to everyone here at Route 66 Raceway.”

The Mongoose graced the world of drag racing for 45 years in everything from the stock-car ranks, to gas coupes, altereds and eventually dragsters and funny cars. During his near half-century of competing, McEwen won five NHRA National events and was ranked 16 out of the 50 most significant drivers of NHRA’s first 50 years. Despite having won only five National events, his gift for gab and promotional savvy elevated his brand, making the Mongoose one of the most influential and controversial figures the sport has ever known.

Before the pair became a global phenomenon, drag racing team sponsorships were not commonplace, especially for companies outside of the automotive scene. In fact, their Mattel sponsorship was unprecedented and fueled a trend that has since escalated to the sponsor-driven industry that it is today. The backing from Mattel also inspired big names like Coca-Cola and Carefree sugarless gum to join the drag racing scene as sponsors of the duo.

Fans are encouraged to download the Route 66 Raceway mobile app on the app store and Google Play.


To purchase tickets to the NHRA Route 66 Nationals, or any of the other 2017 Route 66 Raceway events, visit us online at, call 888-629-RACE, download the Route 66  Raceway mobile app,  visit the Route 66 Raceway Administrative office or stop by the box office on the day of the event.


For email reminders regarding the 2017 Route 66 Raceway schedule, click here.


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Chicagoland Speedway & Route 66 Raceway


Chicagoland Speedway is a 1.5-mile, paved oval race track located in Joliet, Ill.  The track has hosted racing events of the major U.S. racing series, and currently conducts races in all three NASCAR national series, including the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, the NASCAR XFINITY Series, and the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.   Along with Route 66 Raceway, a multimillion-dollar complex that includes a ¼ mile stadium-style drag strip and a ½ mile dirt oval track, Chicagoland Speedway is wholly-owned by International Speedway Corporation (ISC), a major promoter of motorsports activities.  ISC owns and/or operates 13 of the nation’s major racing venues, including Daytona International Speedway. For more information on Chicagoland Speedway, visit



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500 Speedway Blvd
Joliet, IL 60433
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