Snake & Mongoose (2013) Script

Hello, everybody. I'm Dave McClelland, and welcome to the 24th annual NHRA U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis Raceway Park.

A lot of stories have developed at the U.S. Nationals through four full days of qualifying.

This is one of the longest rivalries in drag-racing history... three-time world champion and defending champ Don "The Snake" Prudhomme of Granada Hills, California, against his longtime friend and nemesis, Tom "The Mongoose" McEwen of Fountain Valley, California.

Prudhomme got his nickname "The Snake" because of his amazingly quick reflexes on the starting line.

These two have a history going back two decades.

They even raced together in a partnership... the Wildlife Racing team.

What better than when you have a snake and a mongoose but to team up and tour the country?

Funny car eliminator, final race.

The classic Snake versus Mongoose battle once again.

The burnout's complete and approaching the starting line.

But the race is on the line for the national championship in funny car.

Prudhomme in the far lane.

That has been the better lane in racing this afternoon.

In the near lane, Tom McEwen.

The concentration begins on that Christmas tree.

Both drivers intently looking at the electronic starting device.

Working late as usual?

As usual. You know me.

Are you thirsty? Thanks.

You missed the English final today.

Doesn't matter.

I'm done with school.

That's it?

After all the hard work we've done, you're just going to quit?

What's the point, Lynn?

The only thing I can really read is cars.

Tommy Ivo asked me to go on the road with him.

Can you believe that?

I was going to tell you earlier.

Is he going to pay you, Don?

'Cause summer's a longtime not to earn any money.

Yeah, of course he's gonna pay me. I'll be working for him.

It's a job.

Wow. So just like that?


I'd be learning from one of the best drag racers there is.

What would you have me do?

Did you tell your dad yet?

I can't paint cars for the rest of my damn life.

I know.

So you told him, right?

Look, I'll just be gone for a couple of months, all right?

So don't go leaving me for some other Valley stud, huh?

Oh, you're a Valley stud now?

Behind the wheel, I am.

You smoked him pretty good.

You always that fast?

Oh, that was nothing. Wait till I win the big go.

What's that?

U.S. Nationals, biggest race of the year.

Hey, you want an autograph?

No, that's okay.


Well, can I have yours?


Nice to meet you, Judy.

I'm Tom McEwen. Pleasure.

Hey, you got a number too?



I heard you work the line over at Douglas.

Yep, that's true.

I'm very good with my hands.

I heard that too.

We should go for a drive sometime.

You win some more races, and I'll think about it.

♪ When her motor's warm ♪

♪ And she's purring sweet ♪

♪ Buddy, let me warn you ♪

♪ You're on a one-way street ♪

♪ She'll crowd you close, spin your wheels ♪

♪ Then you're gonna know how it feels ♪

♪ To spinout, yeah ♪

♪ Spinout ♪

♪ Better watch those curves ♪

♪ Never let her steer ♪

♪ If she can shake your nerve, boy ♪

♪ She can strip your gears... ♪ And Prudhomme strikes again, ladies and gentlemen.

That'll be the 200th win for the incredible Greer-Black-Prudhomme team.

Any more of these clowns get hurt out there, our insurance is gonna go through the roof.

Stop your whining, honey.

Well, look who's here.

Don "The Snake" Prudhomme.

Pretty good run there, huh?

The takings are down, Don.

Hard times, man.

I ain't running a charity here.

I'll tell you what.

I'm in a generous mood.

Here's 400 bucks.

Top eliminator gets 500 bucks, Mr. McWhorter.

I won.

The takes are down, son.

He ain't cheating you.

I'd take the 400 and be thankful.

Take it or leave it.

♪ Oh, what you done to me ♪

♪ My bag's all packed... ♪ Oh, hi, Daddy. Hey, Lynn. Hey.

Hey, guys. How you doing, Judy?

Hey, Eddie. Hey, kiss me for luck, boys.

And girl. Yes.

All right, wish me luck, guys. Good luck.

See you guys later. Good to see you.

Sit down for a minute. Oh, my goodness.

Aw, Judy, your kids are so cute.

Where's baby?

He's at my mom's. Too loud at the track.

Oh. You and Don going to have one?

Racing comes first in our family.

Maybe someday. I got to go.

Oh, you got to go. Go.

In our house, it's a dead heat between the kids and the cars.

Oh. Just don't wait too long.

Come on, Tommy. All right.

We'll see you. Good luck.

Ready to lose, Donny?

Losing's your specialty.

You think so?

You sure you want to race, Tommy?

We all know Lions is my track.

All right, Torn.

Starter gives the okay to Prudhomme and McEwen.

McEwen beats Snake on the tree with a holeshot.

Torn McEwen beats Don "The Snake" Prudhomme in a record-setting 6.64 ET at a blistering 206 miles an hour.

Oh, this is so much fun!

It's bullshit, Tom, jumping the gun like that.


Oh, my God. That's for you, buddy.

What do you think went wrong? What do I think went wrong?

He's reading the damn starter again. What do you think went wrong?

Hi, Don. How's Lynn?

Well, to be honest, we can't really afford to lose in my household, so she's probably pretty pissed, Ms. Greer.

We all have to lose sometime, Don.

Yeah, not me.

What can I do for you, Thomas?

I sure do love racing.

Had a hell of a run these last three years, haven't we?

What's with all this "had" shit? You hanging it up?

Fact is Keith and I aren't making any money, Don.

You in on this?

We're not winning most of our races?

You're not making more engines now than ever?

It's kind of the point... more money making engines than racing them.

Now, look, you've gone practically undefeated for the last two years, and the most I can get out of a sponsor is $1,000.

Now, I love this sport, but we got to be practical.

How's this for practical?

I practically win every damn race I line up for.

What, you can't turn a profit on this car?

So why don't you sell it to me, Thomas?

You don't have the dough, Don.

Look, Don, you got a gift.

You know how to read an engine just by listening to it, but it's not enough.

You need business sense.

You two don't think good old Don Prudhomme has the business sense?

I wish you the best of luck.

I bet you do. Bye, Don.

What are we doing later?

Tommy. Yeah?

This was your best race by far, buddy.

Now all you got to do is get over there and collect your money, Mongoose.

Mongoose? What the hell's a mongoose?

Well, you know, like in "The Jungle Book."

The mongoose gets the snake.

Oh, hell.

It's a giant rat that eats snakes.

Oh, yeah, a mongoose. Yeah, I knew that.

Mongoose. I like it. See?


Okay. Yeah.

Here, take this, Ed.

I'm going to go get our money. Attaboy, Mongoose.

Hey, Vipe, hear you're looking for a new ride, huh?


Depends, Roland. What do you got?

I got the same car, same car, same engine.

I don't know.

You know, my parents, they don't let me drive another dragster, 'cause I crashed it.

Crashed it. Yeah, I remember.

So I need one new driver, huh?

I supply the car. You drive.

You win.


Another deal with another rich kid.

I could use a drink, Roland. What do you say?

Okay, brah.

How about a bonus if I win Indy? Hey.

Hey, Mike.

Hello, Tommo. What can I do for you?

Well, I got a favor to ask you.

Why don't you take a look at this for me?

"The Mongoose bites the Snake."

Yeah, yeah. You get it? Yes, I do. I like it.

Yeah, yeah, I knew you would. I knew you could.

All right, cool, Mikey. I'll see you later.

Ah, thanks.

"The Mongoose bites the Snake."


The Mongoose bites the Snake.

♪ Gotta go, baby ♪

♪ Think yourself... ♪ The Mongoose bites the Snake, and the Snake bites him back.

Chevy. Your mom's got good taste, huh?

She does.

That thing work better than a handkerchief?

Helps keeping the paint fumes from making me sick.

But now you're here. Right.

Hey, you want to grab a bite? Nope.

I'm working, Torn.

Yeah, I can see that. Yeah.

You seen this?

You dig it?

There's really no need for all that running off at the mouth, is there?

Now pay no mind to it. It's just publicity.

No, don't get paint on it, dummy.

You think all this Mongoose and Snake nonsense is going to make any difference?

Not on the track, it won't, but it might make us some dough.

Yeah, well, I say let the cars do the talking.

Well, every time they open their mouths, it costs money, Don.

That's why we have sponsors, right?

Well, there's got to be a lot more to it than ma-and-pa gas stations and a bunch of free parts here.

Well, I barely have enough time to work on my car as it is.

I'm not going to go running around, chasing down sponsors.

The way I see it is you got to make the time, Don.

I win races.

Winning the money will follow.

Well, if it's that simple, you got nothing to worry about, partner.

Have a nice night in your shop.

♪ Doing all right ♪

♪ Doing all right... ♪ Hey. Yeah, Shelly.


Hey, Ed. Oh, all right. Hey, guys.

Glad you guys are here.

Thanks for coming out, huh?

Going to be a good day. There you go.

I like that shirt.

Hey, all right. Thanks, Phil.

Genius. Right?

Don't have much time for a new paint job, do you, 'Goose?

Oh, this?

It does a great job blocking nitro fumes.

Let me see that. Nope.

Got to go, buddy.

And that's Tom "Mongoose" McEwen out of the U.S. Nationals.

Tommy Ivo stays in there all the way to win.

Now he'll need...

What the hell happened?

...Don Prudhomme, the Top Fuel eliminator at WinterNalionals in the finals.

You'll get him next time, buddy.

Yeah, whatever.

Well, I guess this is your chance to go head-to-head with Ivo, the celebrity.

Working for him was a nightmare.

Hey, revenge is a dish best served with a cold, huh?

You don't mind if I steal this, do you?

No, sure. Help yourself.

Ladies and gentlemen, this year's final pits Prudhomme against his former mentor, "TV" Tommy Ivo.

♪ She's winding up and letting it fly ♪

♪ Over the line in the blink of an eye... ♪

Prudhomme gets the jump this time and really lets it out, hitting 207.33 miles per hour in 7.5 seconds.

What a finish!

Don Prudhomme, Top Fuel eliminator at the WinterNationals and now at the Nationals, is truly the Top Fuel eliminator in the nation.

Ladies and gentlemen...

You want to take a picture of me and my husband?

Sure thing, Ms. Prudhomme. ...and his lovely wife Lynn.

Let's give him a well-deserved round of applause.

♪ One, two... ♪ Whoo! - ♪ Three, four! ♪

♪ I just want to celebrate ♪

♪ Another day of living ♪

♪ I just want to celebrate ♪

♪ Another day of life ♪

♪ Put my faith in the people ♪

♪ But the people let me down ♪

♪ So I turn the other way ♪

♪ And I carry on anyhow ♪

♪ That's why I'm telling you ♪

♪ I just want to celebrate, yeah, yeah ♪

♪ Another day of living ♪

- ♪ Yeah ♪ ♪ I just want to celebrate ♪

♪ Another day of life ♪

♪ Had my hand on the dollar bill ♪

♪ And the dollar bill blew away... ♪

♪ But the sun is shining down on me ♪

♪ And it's hereto stay ♪

♪ That's why I'm telling you I just want to celebrate ♪

♪ Yeah, yeah, another day of living ♪

♪ Yeah ♪

♪ I just want to celebrate ♪

♪ Another day of living ♪

♪ Yeah, I just want to celebrate ♪

♪ Another day of life ♪

♪ Don't let it all ♪

♪ Get you down, no, no, don't let it turn you around ♪

♪ Round and around and around... ♪ That's the funniest-looking Barracuda I ever saw.

Look where the wheels are.

Yeah, that's why they call 'em funny cars.

Mongoose, can I have your autograph?

Yeah, me too. Oh, my God, that's Mongoose.

Yeah, of course you guys can.

There you are. There you are.

All right, you tell your friends to cheer for the Mongoose now.

Bye. Bye.

See you.

Hoo! Almost like you're invisible.

U.S. Nationals champion, you've been in magazines.

The fans just walk on by. Yeah, yeah.

You got to do some P.R., baby.

No, that's your thing. It's not my thing.

Count the number of Mongoose Ts out there compared to the number of Snake Ts.

Snake Ts are for crew. That's different.

Exactly. All three of 'em?

Oh, there must be 100 Mongoose shirts out there.

I know. I drank way too much.

Oh, my God, you're human.

Very funny. Huh.

You still hell-bent on driving this suicide machine, huh?

Pick your poison.

Better get used to it too, 'cause the crowd loves funny cars, ergo sponsors love 'em.

"Ergo"? What the hell's an ergo?

Um, it's in "The Jungle Book." How you doing?

Oh, I like that T-shirt. Look at that.

We're finally here, folks, the last race of this glorious event at Famoso Raceway.

Don "The Snake" Prudhomme beats Gary Ritter with a 6.92, 229-mile-an-hour run.

Prudhomme is our top eliminator.

I'll never understand why you starve yourself out there all day.

Too much work to do. I'm way too nervous for that.

Okay, what is going on with you today?


Just looking at Judy and her boys and all those kids at the track.

Babe, come on.

It's fine.

I was just saying I know you're going to be a great mom, all right, but we got to think about the big picture here.

My gig is dangerous, and you know that, so what if something happens to me, you know?

A lot of drivers have families, Don.

I don't want to miss out on that with you because we're afraid of something that might not happen.

Yeah, well, having a kid costs money.

I know that. All right? We have no idea.

So let's get an idea.

Tom is always coming up with a way to make some money.

Maybe it's time that we heard him out, took him seriously for a change.

He changed his name to Mongoose, for Christ's sakes.

I mean, I don't know.

You're part of this whether you like it or not, so we might as well see if we can make some money with it.

Mongoose and Snake.

Don, it's pretty catchy.

If it's that important to you, I'll track him down and see what he's got cooking.

That's all I'm asking.

You start showboating on me, I swear...


Will you just stop being a grumpy old man?

Give me a kiss.

Can I have a bite of that? No.

I'll get you another one.

What is it you always say, Ed?

Leave first, don't redline, don't freewheel, don't cross over the center line, and don't lift.

Damn straight. My point exactly.

All right.

Rack 'em up, Mike.

Got to read the starter, man.

He'll have certain gestures, tics, preferences in the way he moves that'll give it away, and then he wraps it up, puts a bow on it, and hands me a single 1/100 of a second.

I swear, every time I race that track, it's my birthday.

Hey there, Donny. Hey, Donny.

Fellas. Well, well, well.

Don Prudhomme.

To what do we owe this great honor?

Talk to you a second?

I'm sorry. I couldn't really hear you.

Did you say that the Snake wanted to talk to me?

Forget it. Enjoy your game.

No, no. Come on. Now don't be a baby.

Come on.

Guys, can you give me a moment with the Snake, please?

Sure. Nice going, Mike. You got it.

Well, you were right, Torn.

I usually am.

What about this time?

Even when I win, I lose.

That's true.

So... are we going to make some serious money at this?

Serious money?

Truth is we could race up and down the country till we're blue in the face, thousands of fans swamping the track, but until we get a piece of the gate receipts... well, we might as well be playing to an empty house.

I mean, you're making a living, right?

You know damn well 500 bucks a month ain't a living, Tom.

Just me out there. I don't have Mommy to help me out.

Oh, hey, now, we all got to use what we got, Donny.

Is there any money in this Snake-and-Mongoose thing you keep talking about?

Well, you got to work together with me on that, Donny.

I mean, that takes time and effort on and off the track to make an idea like that go.

Well, you see, the truth is fast food makes more money than fast cars.

What the hell does that mean?

You been talking in riddles the whole time?

Without the burger, you wouldn't need the arches, right?

But without the arches, it'd just be another hamburger.

So I'm the hamburger and you're the arches.

Uh... well, no, that's not exactly right, but... I got it. I got it.

No, no, Don, it's like I've been saying, all right, you've got to think big to make it big.

What, you and me like a team? No way, brother.

No, no, no, no. Match races, all right?

You versus me like always, except this time, we take it on tour.

All right, we get to call the shots, not the sponsors, not the track owners, the Mongoose and the Snake.

I mean, think about it.

I got 10 tracks already lined up, willing to pay us a grand just to show up.

Really? Like who?

Well, like McWhorter in Bakersfield for example.

That old coot still owes me 100.

Come on, we do three races, all right, and then we're down the road to the next track, all the way to Dallas.

I mean, in six weeks, we can make some serious dough.

You already made a schedule? Yeah.

You sure you're not going to get bored of me beating you every time?

Just look at the schedule, Don.

All right. Hell...

...let's do it.

But it's Snake and Mongoose, not the other way around.

Hoo! Keep dreaming, brother.

No, of course Snake will be there.

Well, yeah, I know him. He's here with me.

No, no, it's the Mongoose and the Snake.

That's the idea.

A mongoose... it's a little orange cartoon thingy that bites snakes.

Right. Okay, 750?

Let me check with my partner.

Hey, he says 750.

750? 1,000.

No, no. He'll not take 1,000. It's a small track, Don.

You tell him 1,000 or nothing.

It's going to have to be 1,000.

Really? Wow. That's great. That's good.

All right, we'll see you on the 16th, Jim.

Thanks. Yep.

Hey, they're really excited about us. Told you.

Do you ever miss it?

The track? Mm.


You know that feeling when you're out there and it feels like you're away from everything, no worries, no responsibilities?

I miss that.

It's hard on the kids, Tommy on the road.

He gets home so late, they rarely see him.

Sometimes I just don't think I can do it anymore.

What do you mean?

You and Tom are great together.

When we're together, maybe.

But we're never together.

I got three kids and a house.

What I don't have is a husband.

No, thanks.

So, Judy, get someone to help you out with the kids.

They're going to be making enough money...

I need a partner.

Someone to go to bed with and wake up with.

Someone who'll be home if I need him.

I didn't realize how tough things have been.

Tom always seems so on top of everything.

He's just a big kid.

He grew, but... he never grew up.

You watch your man, Lynn.

Keep him out of trouble.

Daddy's home!

Oh, there he is.

Hey, buddy. How are you?

Mm, good to see you, Jamie. Hey, pal.

Aw, come here, you. All right, go inside.

You guys look so great. I'll make pancakes for breakfast.

Hi. Ooh, you come here too.

Come on, Dad.


More of that.

I'm coming, pal. I'm coming.

Not bad for six weeks on the road.

Still, it'll be nice when you start back at Douglas.

Yeah, I've been meaning to talk to you about that.

You quit, didn't you? Now listen.

You cannot support this family drag racing.

No, Judy, this is important to me. This family needs you, Tom.

And it needs a regular salary.

Hey, Dad!

Ah, come on.

He missed you. We all missed you.

Hey, what you got there, Joey, more Hot Cars?

Hot Wheels, Dad.

I'll see you later, boys.

Bye, Mom. Bye, Mom.

Hey, now wait a second.

Hey, now wait one minute. Tom, I love the track, okay.

The life, I love it. It's what brought us together.

But we've got our boys now. It's different.

Come on. You're good with your hands, right?

So go grab your job back.


And Mongoose McEwen beats the Snake again with one amazing holeshot.

What's a holeshot?

A holeshot is when one driver gets off the starting line faster.

Right, Dad? That's right, son.

What, did your grandpa come visit you guys again?

Yeah. Pretty cool, huh?

Yeah, pretty cool.

Hey, Don.

Damn it, Tom, some of us still have to work, you know.

Yeah, yeah. Hey, have you seen these?

These are called Hot Wheels.

Toy cars. That's great.

Now, Mattel makes a lot of money selling these toy cars.

Die-cast, brother, that's where the dough is.


Well, remember I said we have to think big?

Okay, what about a match-race tour, except this time, we're fully sponsored by Hot Wheels?

Now, we're talking new cars, new engines, the lot.

What's a kids' toy company want with two drag racers, man?

Oh, well, they get to put their names all over our hot wheels while we race them up and down the country, seen by thousands.

The cool part's this.

They get to sell these little suckers with our Mongoose and Snake cartoons on 'em.

Kids really dig this, Don.

I mean, this is groovy, right?

Okay, man.

Hell, you're the talker. Talk to 'em.

I already did.

How the hell did you manage that?

My stepfather.

Joe? Joe doesn't even like you, man.

Yeah, well, they want to see me again, with you, the Mongoose and Snake.

That's what this is.

You want Snake to come in and close the deal for you?

Okay. That's just fine, buddy.

Let's do that. Set it up.

I already did.

I'll pick you up at 9:00 tomorrow morning.

All right, man.

And, Don, wear something sharp.

Still can't believe you're wearing that.

Shh. Man, I'm cool.

Sometimes you got to show a little class, Don.

Yeah, you're all class, Tom.

Yes? Can I help you?

Yeah, we're here to see Art Spear.

You must be Mr. McEwen and Mr. "Produm."


Mr. Spear is ready for you.

Follow me, gentlemen. Laugh it up.

Thanks, Betty.

Thank you.

Nice to see you again, Tom. Hey, Art. Hi.

So you must be the Snake part of the equation.

Is that right? Don Prudhomme.

The Mongoose and Snake... that's what the fans call us.

Right. Sit down.

Tell me again, Tom. How can we all work together?

Hot Wheels.

Now, you hype them as the fastest cars on Earth.

Yes, and we're actually doing very well with them.

Ah, Larry.

Gentlemen, this is Larry Wood, our Hot Wheels design guy.

Larry, this is...

Mongoose and Snake. Hey, hey.

You know these guys?

Oh, sure. Sure.

See, what if you could combine the fastest toy cars on Earth with the fastest real cars on Earth?

And you can do this?

Mr. Spear, we are this.

Take a look here.

Brought some photos here for you.

Now, see here. These are the animals.

These are our logos here. Right.

This is me here and Don, okay?

Larry, are these guys for real?

Snake's won the U.S. Nationals twice.

Yeah. That's the Super Bowl of drag racing.

Uh-huh. Yeah.

Oh, for the past four years, Don and I have been the hottest ticket in what is the fastest-growing sport in America.

Without even trying, we pack the stands every weekend, either together or separately.

What you have in your office right here is the biggest draw in racing.

Now, together, as a team, sponsored by Mattel Hot Wheels, driving cars with the Hot Wheels logo big and bold on the sides, well, hell, we're 200-mile-per-hour billboards.

Drag racing attracts more kids than any other kind of auto racing, more than stock cars or sprints, hell, more than the Indy 500.

Why? Because we're fast.

And we're flashy with fiery burnouts.

Hell, instant winners.

Kids can walk the pits, meet the drivers.

You know, hell, we're... Accessible?

You're damn right we're accessible.

We are in real life what Hot Wheels is in miniature.

And there's TV coverage, right? For the big events.

So our logo gets across the finish line first in front of millions of viewers?

Damn right it does. Well, we can't guarantee one of us will win every time.

It'd be better if you did.

How much funding do you think you'd need to pull this off?


100 grand should be enough to build two funny cars, record-setting cars, of course.

Funny cars?

Oh, there it is.

Yeah. Very cool.

That's it right there. Look, guys.


Well, trophies are fine, but I'm looking for branding.

I want every kid in America to buy Hot Wheels.

Not just to know the brand, but to love it, like... well, like Barbie.

Mr. Spear, you put these cartoon characters on the cars, and you watch the kids go nuts.

The more I think about this... the more I like it.

So he just keeps a Barbie sitting in his desk like that?

I guess so.

But, brother, we're about to become a team, the team.

Well, what do you think about Wildlife Racing as a name?

I mean, you're the Snake. I'm the Mongoose.

Kind of makes sense, right? Wildlife Racing.

Hell, the way you drive, I guess that does make sense.

Very funny.

Whoo-ee! Let's get 'em buttoned up, boys.

Watch the merchandise. This is the real deal here, Donny.

Chop-chop. Let's get out of here.

All right, let's line up real quickly.

Let's go, guys. Don. Don.

Tommy, let's go. Spear wants a photograph.

Let's line it up. Hey, lose the cigarette.

Now that Coke's a sponsor, they want one too.

Ready for this? Look good. Here we go.

Right this way, girls. Shake my hand.

Look pretty. Here we go. Smile.

Don, smile.

Hey, baby. Hey, Mike, is that big voice we hear at the track your real voice?

You mean this one? Yeah, that one.

No. Actually, this is my real voice, you little whippersnapper. You like it?

You're so bad. Yes, I am.

Buddy, you're right. "Super Stock," huh?

Oh, look at that. We're on the cover.

Oh, look at that. Your name's first.

It's 'cause I'm prettier. Ah, hell, come on.

You said you didn't care about any of that anyway.

Yeah, I didn't. Uh-huh.

Will you two stop arguing?

Here, Don. Make yourself useful.


Hey, Don, can't wait to see your new Hot Wheels cars.

Are they going to be the same as the big cars?

Oh, yeah, buddy.

They're going to be identical, just a little smaller.

Ready? Ooh!

Scared me.

Hey, baby.

Where are the boys? At your mom's.

I thought they wanted to see me off.

We need to talk.

What? I kind of thought we already did.

Me being alone with the kids, it's not working.

I need you at home, Torn.

Well, I can't make a living at home.

Yes, you can.

You just don't want to.

Now wait a minute. Wait a minute.

You knew who I was when we met.

I thought you would change.

Baby... we are finally getting everything we always wanted.

This is everything you wanted, Torn.

This is your dream, not mine.

I... I'm just not cut out for it.

What about us?

The kids?

They'll visit when they can, and you can see them when you're in town.

Good-bye, Tom.

Hey, Tommy!

Get the show on the road.

You all right?

Ah, I will be when I beat your ass in Bakersfield.

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday.

See the new Hot Wheels team... Tom "The Mongoose" McEwen take on the two-time U.S. Nationals champion Don "The Snake" Prudhomme in a best-of-three all-out match race.

You've seen the stunning pictures of their red and yellow haulers and their hot, new funny cars.

Now see them actually race these beauties for the first time ever, live and in color at the world-famous Famoso Raceway.

Don't miss it.

Come out to Famoso Raceway this weekend and prepare to be amazed as their nitro-burning funny cars go roaring down the tracks at over 200 miles an hour.

You okay driving that, Don? Yeah, you feeling good?

Pull that thing on the other side, will you?

All right, thanks.

Hey, you boys got enough room?

Yeah, it looks pretty good. It's all right.

McWhorter said you superstars take as much room as you need.

Oh, man, you hear that? First stop, we're already superstars.

Hey, Snake. Snake, big fan, man.

All right. Big fan.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, only fan. Don't get too used to that, pal.

You know, I've never seen the back of your car.

Look at it now. Get used to it.

Where the hell is McWhorter, anyway?

He's up in the tower, man. All right.

Mr. McWhorter.

Happy days, Don.

Happy days.

Here it is.

It's all there.

The hell it is.

You still owe me 100. Remember?

You stiffed Donny for 100 bucks?

Cheapskate. Shame on you.

Pay this man his C-note.

Now I know why they call you the Snake.

I may have a little bit of trouble reading, Mr. McWhorter, but I know how to add.

And Tom McEwen takes the win and the match.

God damn it.

Hey, yeah, all right.

Thank you. Oh, I like this one here.

I like this one. All right. All right.

Hey, what the hell happened, man? The tranny blew.

Once the slicks got covered, I almost lost her.

Barely keep her on the track.

Hey, well, you did a good job, you know, keeping it togeth...

Damn it, Don, that's 300 bucks, man.

For the shoes?

You know what? Don't worry about it.

It's only money.

There's plenty more where that came from.

Great show, boys. Thank you.

Oh, Tom, here's your $500 bonus.

All right. Bonus?

Yeah, just like we agreed.

You guys put more than 5,000 people in here, winner gets an extra 500 bucks.

Just like we agreed to, Tom. You are nothing but a...

Whatever you say, don't say "snake," pal.

Did I say something wrong?

No, Mac. You're good.

Hey, nice shoes.

Thank you.

Are you kidding me?

Hey. Hey.

Don, Tom is spending way too much money.

Fancy restaurants. Expensive clothes.

He's always had money, so he's a little better at spending it.

Yeah, well, he's now spending our money too, Don.

You know what?

The guy's been pretty banged up since Judy left him, so he's driving like crazy, spending like crazy.

Split the damn accounts. Great minds think alike.

Yeah. Okay.

Got you something.


It is the anniversary of our first date.


Rainbow Roller Rink.

Saturday night.

It was Friday night.

Friday night. Mm-hmm.

You always had to be up for work so early on Saturdays.


But, damn, could you skate.

I still can.

Found a bunch of these rags laying around.

Oh. Yeah.

Thought I'd take a little page out of your playbook.

Hey, did you know that sponsors love publicity?

God, Don. It's crazy.

You're such a... What? I'm a snake, Torn?

You look like a giant banana.

He's around here somewhere.

Eric, Don Prudhomme.

All right, you guys have a good night.

You too. You too. All right, buddy.

Ah, man. Thanks.

Somethings gone terribly wrong with Don Garlits' dragster.

Looks like the entire front has been sheared off of the back.

Safety teams are on the scene now.

What a horrible mess. You hear about Garlits?

No. What happened? He break another record?

No, no, no. A real bad crash at Lions.

Clutch exploded, blew off half his right foot.

Oh, man. He going to keep his leg?

I don't know. Am I a doctor?

Oh, I hope not. No, Garlits is a machine.

He's going to be back driving within the month.

I can hear him at the hospital giving 'em hell, right?

"You don't race, you don't eat."

Yeah, it sounds like Big Daddy.

You know, he could have been killed.

You guys act like he broke his damn nail.

Well, accidents happen. I mean, it is what it is.

Is that what you think, Don?

I don't think about it, honestly. I just drive.

Come on, Lynn. Okay. That's great.

Oh, don't forget the old briefcase.

Hey, hey, hey, now. Hands off the... that's not for you, Don.

For Christ's sakes! The two of you need to grow up.

Y'all think this is just all one big game.

Lynn... Come on, Tom.

Yeah, grow up. You're killing me here.

Lynn. No.

Hey, Jamie. How's it going?

I miss you, man. Miss you too, Dad.

I thought we were coming to Denver.

Yeah, yeah, that was the plan, but I guess things changed.

Besides, you guys are probably having a better time out there.

It's okay. You winning a lot?

Hey, yeah, I'm winning a lot.

I could sure use my best mechanic, though.

Well, listen, bud, I got to go, so give Joey a kiss for me, and tell your mom I'm going to call Tommy tomorrow.

Okay, Dad. Miss you. Love you.

Yeah, I love you too, buddy.

I sure do miss you guys.

Hey, you all right? So what the hell happened?

What the hell happened? 'Cause you know what happened.

Yeah, I pushed too much. Yeah.

Keep wasting time with those girls, 'Goose.

I like winning.


Hey. Good job.

Good job. Here you go. Aha.

Yes. You know what?

They say hard work pays off, buddy. What do you think?

You know, I told you not to run those 430s, Tommy.

You can see what happens when you don't hit your shift points.

You know what I mean?

It's like dropping a hand grenade down in the middle of the motor.

You're killing parts. You know that.

I got to push it sometimes, Ed, roll the dice.

If I want any chance of beating Don, I can't always play it safe.

"Roll the dice."



No, I can't hear you. Would you...

I have to see my boys, Judy.

Tom McEwen.

Last call for Tom McEwen. Damn it, I got to go.

I know Joey hates the track. Just send Tommy and Jamie.


There you go. For you.

All right, let's take this. Great win, Don.

Tom. Hey.

Now what's this I hear about you not racing Indy next weekend?

No, Don and I are running. We're just not running the funnies.

We're going to both go after the Top Fuel championship.

What does that mean for Mattel?

Well, it means the funnies will have to stay in the trucks.

Also means I get to defend my Top Fuel title.

We have $100,000 invested in this team to race funny cars.

And what have you made back, about 10 times that?

It's true. They've been our fastest sellers.

Oh, hey, which one's selling faster, me or Don?

Don's outselling you by just a bit.

Ah, well, how much? Listen, for Pete's sake, try to focus on what I'm saying.

This is a million-dollar deal.

A million dollars?

Next Christmas, we're coming out with a brand-new Mongoose and Snake drag race track set, and we are going to be dumping a huge amount of money into an all-out advertising campaign starting this weekend.

I need those cars on the track, and I need one of you two to win the funny car class.

Yeah, well, you don't tell us what we can and can't do, all right?

That's not how this works, Art.

No, what he's saying is that we're not magicians.

Like I told you a long time ago, Art, we can't control the outcome of a race.

Just get those cars on the track.

Or what?

Didn't you read your contract?

Yeah. Of course I read my contract.

They own us outright, don't they?

At least until the contracts expire.

I mean... so much for owing no one and no one owns you, right?

We all owe someone, Don.

But maybe we can get a little more out of this.

Here. Hand me that pen.

Give me that, please.

Give... Easy, tiger.

We can do that later. No, I got to get into it now.

Hey. All right.

Ah, morning, all.

Good morning. How'd you sleep?

I slept wonderfully, thank you. Good.

Coffee, sir? Yes, please.

What they're having looks good.

That and your phone number will work for me.

I'll bring you your coffee. Okay.

Never too early. What's with the briefcase, Tom?

Ah, this is the magic briefcase.

I can hear that click-click sound in my damn sleep.

Oh, here it comes. It's just a way for me to give something back to all my special fans.

He gives them something nice... Yeah, I get it.

Thank you, darling. You're welcome.

And here you go, sweetie. This is just for you.

Wow. Gee, thanks. You're welcome.

So we both think that this Spear's deal is way too one-sided, and...

Look, if they're going to invest a million dollars into a race set of the two of you, then they're relying on our names on a whole 'nother level.

Yeah, they need us now more than ever.


We need to get them to sponsor both cars, state-of-the-art Top Fuel dragsters.

Okay, here we go with the sponsored...

I race Top Fuel. All right, Don. Okay, hold on.

Tom, we're talking about two more Hot Wheels for them to sell.

Is that more your language? All right, I get that.

That does not mean I'm racing the 'Cuda at Indy.

I think you made that pretty clear yesterday.

I told Spear we're going to get the 'Cuda on the track.

What I didn't tell him was who's going to be behind the wheel.

So you're getting another driver for me?

What are you going to pull out of, Top Fuel or funny?


I'm going to take one for the team, run both.

What are you, crazy?

You're not going to beam yourself from pit to pit.

Has anybody ever done that before?

Yeah, Captain Kirk.

I am going to boldly go where no man has gone before.

Okay. I can't...

Where's that waitress?

All right, guys. Hey, grab the bags there.

Let's get 'em in the truck. I want to see the car, Dad.

Yeah, of course, Jamie, you can see the car.

How's it going?

Hey, what the hell's going on here?

Nothing, boss. The cars are ready to go.

Well, prop up the duster, okay?

Hey, people can't watch if there's nothing to look at.

Even Snake knows that.

Just pretend you're doing something.

Hey, guys, you want a T-shirt? Here, have a T-shirt.

This is for you, a Mongoose T-shirt.

Here you go. Hi. Hey, Tom.

Can I get a photo with the Mongoose?

Well, yes, you can.

Hey, Tommy, here, help your dad out, will you?

Grab a picture for me.

Guys, guys. guys. put that down.

What are you doing? Huh?

People want to see that paint job. Come on.

We're going to do it right here in front.

Go play cards or something, guys. Come on.

It's beautiful. How's this?

Oh, that's good. I like that. Yeah?

Hey, Jamie.

Hey, Snake.

Lynn! Hey, Jamie. How are you?

I was wondering when you guys were going to get here.

Mom made us wait until school ended.

That's for you. Okay.

Yeah, I got another little something for you here.

Got a little necklace here for you.

Why does he have to do that? I know, buddy.

Don't worry about that. Go get something to eat.

Come on, my treat. We'll go get something to eat.

That okay? Mind if I put it on?

Oh, that looks good.

What do you think? I like it.

All right, here you go.

Now, you sure you don't got to take a leak?


Well, why don't you eat something? I got all your favorites here.

We sure got our butts kicked today, huh?


You could have beat Jungle Jim if you hadn't hazed your tires.

And didn't even get to run the Fueler.

No, we sure didn't.

Well, it's nice to have you guys back on the road.

Hey, you know that girl you had your picture taken with?

She was just a fan.

You gave her a necklace.

Hey, it didn't mean anything.

I got 100 of those doodads.

Fans like to feel like they're special.

We put our arms around them, okay, we smile for the camera, and we make them feel like they're part of the team.

Is that why you and Mom broke up?


Everything I'm doing is for you guys.

You're more important to me than anything in the whole world.

Now, come on. You know that, don't you?

Yeah, I guess so.

So we good, then?

Yeah, we're good.

All right.

Well, hey, we got a ways to go till we get to Richmond, so why don't you crawl in the back there with your brother, get some sleep?

Nah. I think I'll stay up here, help keep you awake.

That's my boy.

Hey, I might take you up on that.

The 16th annual Nationals, National Hot Rod Association staging one of the most explosive, one of the most record-setting events in the history of drag racing.

I'm Keith Jackson, and today on ABC's "Wide World of Sports,"

I think that you'll just stand in awe at some of the mechanical and personal performances by some of the top drag-racing drivers in the world.

An incredible blast of power as Don Prudhomme defeats Danny Ongais.


Let's get it closed up. Hey, are you okay?

Go, go, go!

And McEwen red-lights.

He's disqualified.

There he is, ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Drag Racing himself, Don "The Snake" Prudhomme.

I admire you trying to run both cars, Tom. I do.

Oh, I don't want to hear it, you pompous prick.

You think I'm not serious about racing, that I don't want to win a championship as bad as you do?

Trying to pay you a damn compliment, all right?

Yeah, yeah. Very inspirational.

Hey, Donny.

So you lost, all right?

You don't think all this fooling around interferes with the way you race?

Come on. Remember this was fun, Don?

This was fun for me... the speed, the noise, the girls.

Winning is fun, Tom. Damn it.

Trouble here is you're a loser.

Races, your wife, your kids.

I'm a loser, huh? I'm a loser?

You afraid to give Lynn that baby she's always wanted, huh?

Or you just ain't got it in you? What do you know about it, huh?

So I don't wanna have kids and leave 'em without a father.

So what? I didn't have a father, and here I am.

Yeah, and how's that working out for you?

Come here.

Take it easy, Tom. Take it easy.

I'm done. I'm done.

Yeah, go ahead. Walk away, Don.

Leave me to clean up the dirty work with Spear, save your precious ego.

Well, maybe I had enough of picking up the pieces.

Don't let Spear catch those trophy girls in there, all right?

That's what's gonna ruin this deal... Get your hands off me.

...not me doing the stupid Top Fuel.

Yeah, go. Go win your back-to-back Top Fuel Nationals.

Go win for your $1,000 sponsor.

I'll be here taking care of your $100,000 meal ticket.

Good. Just don't choke on it, chief.

What are you looking at, Ed? Hey.

That's right, camp.

We are at the glorious Indianapolis Raceway awaiting the 1970 NHRA finals in Top Fuel.

In the far lane will be Jim Nicoll.

He's already handed in the fastest time of the week at 6.51 seconds and a blazing 229 miles per hour.

In the near lane will be the defending Nationals champion, Don "The Snake" Prudhomme.

Oh, my God!

Nicoll's car burst into flame...

Oh, my God. ...and splits in two!

Nicoll goes into the crash wall, his engine careening across the track!

But Nicoll's car cut in half.

There is the driver's cage.

It caromed at least 350 feet down the track and bounced over into the grass.

And I'll say that Don Prudhomme appears to be all right.

Oh, my God.

See him go right by me, didn't have a back section?

. Hey, you okay? Was he dragging behind the back section? Okay, all right. Listen.

We won, huh? You did it, buddy.

What do you mean won? We didn't win.

Hey, listen. We won. Hey, hey. Don.

Jim Nicoll's car, that came all the way to the end of the run-out area.

How bad is he?

We understand that Jim Nicoll was conscious when taken out of the roll cage and put in the ambulance now on the way to the hospital.

I'm done racing.

Don, come on. It's not worth it.

Listen to me. First Garlits, now this.

I'm not racing anymore. You're okay, man.

That's not fair to you.

Don't make your head up. Don, please.

And here's the finish. How terribly close it was.

Prudhomme winning by a yard, 3/100 of a second at 231 miles an hour.

Don, what was going through your mind when you saw the explosion coming from Jim Nicoll's car?

I'm done racing, Mike. You're quitting?

Do you know how many people have died racing? Do you?

It's too damn dangerous.

You heard it here.

"Snake" Prudhomme says he is done drag racing.

After winning his second consecutive U.S. Nationals in Top Fuel and the fiery explosion... Hold this. I'll handle it.

...of Jim Nicoll's car, Don Prudhomme...

You need to get out of here. You need to get the hell out of here.

Don Prudhomme says he is done drag racing.

All right, all right. Hey, shut the camera off.

Mike, you run that story, I guarantee you not one top driver will speak to you again, ever.

Is that a threat?

That's up to you.


Hey, Roland. Don?

Hey, I thought you'd want this. Huh?

You won it, brah.

After that, I don't really feel like a winner, all right?

Hey, you dodged one bullet today, but that's why you love the sport, right?

You get to feel indestructible.

I feel pretty damn destructible right now, Roland.

You'll feel better in the morning, huh? Here.

Good night, Vipe.

♪ All our times have come ♪

♪ Here ♪

♪ But now they're gone... ♪

Hey, Tommy, with this low humidity, I'd like to speed things up with this pulley combo.

Yeah, that's a good idea. Yeah.

Hey, I've been thinking about the Nicoll crash.

Yeah. Now, why couldn't we go from six studs to 12 here on the clutch cam?

That's a good idea. Yeah.

Let me think about that.

You know, we could make the whole damn thing out of billet steel instead of aluminum.

There you go. Here you go.

Hey, great to have you back working with me on the car.

Yeah, well, you're not going to be around forever.

Hey, don't worry about me.

No matter how busy I get, I'll always be here to help you with the big ones, pal.

Thanks, Ed.

Hey. you all right?

Yeah, just... you know, wishing my dad could be around to see all this.

He was a Navy fighter pilot, wasn't he?

He was a test pilot. Ah.

He crashed when I was just a baby.


You know, I know you don't like talking about it, but it sure does explain a lot.

Now, what do you mean by that?

Well, you know, your craving for speed, the ability to handle all the adrenaline of it, you know.

You got a big gift here knowing how to make these things go faster and safer, I might add.

I mean, that slider clutch of yours, the ventilator mask.

I mean, you know, and how about the deal you put together with Hot Wheels?

I mean, that thing is going to just put this sport right on the map, Tommy.

Your dad would really be proud of you, believe me.

But I haven't won the big one, Ed.

Hey, you're going to have to get over Indy, okay?

All the great drivers show up, and they enter into one class.

What do you do? You show up. You enter into two.

All right. I don't know what you're thinking.

You trying to upstage Prudhomme or something?

All right, that was stupid. Yes, it was.

Hey, look, Tom... you're a terrific driver.

One of the best.

But I've never seen a driver that needed to win as much as Don Prudhomme.

Determination, focus, time he spends on his car, all of it makes him the greatest driver I've ever seen.

Want to know why?

The need to win.

Really, right here. The need to win, remember that.

I'm not kidding you.

Come on, let's see if we can get this rocket ship going.

All right.

Hey, why don't you trade me that here real quick, son?

There we go. Hi, Snake.

Hey, buddy.

I ain't seen you in a while. Yeah.

What are you working on?

Just borrowing some technology from our stock-car buddies.

Oh, fire extinguishers in the car?

Yeah, yeah. See, you hit this top here.

You slam on it... Huh.

...and it fills the cage with this fire-retardant powder.

I mean, voilà.


Yeah, it's French, Don.

Hey, why don't you hang on a second here, buddy, okay?

I'll be right back. Don't go driving off on me.

Hey, Nicoll was just plain unlucky. That's all there is to it, Don.

You believe in luck, then you know it's going to run out.

Well, while you were holed up for the past two months feeling sorry for yourself, I took the Mattel boys to Bakersfield.

Top Fuel? Yeah.


And even though I'm just the mouth, I won it.

Hey, we all got to die someday, Snake.

Can't live your life in fear of that.

Now what else are you going to do, huh?

You going to go back to painting cars?

I know I ain't got nothing else going on outside of this.

You and me, we are drag racers, man.

That doesn't mean I got to drive 'em anymore.

You gonna let someone else race me?

Damn it, we need you out there, Don.

Here. What's this?

'71 sponsorship money.

200 grand?

That's right.

Now we can finally big those rear-engine dragsters that the Garlits dreamed of.

Hell, with that, we take luck out of the equation.

Time to get back behind the wheel, brother.

Don Prudhomme's Snake.

Torn McEwen's Mongoose.

Dragdom's fastest duo goes from the drag strip to your home.

It's Mattel's Mongoose-Snake drag set, just like the big ones.

Funny cars. Screaming speed.

Get Hot Wheels' Mongoose-Snake drag set... only from Mattel, and go with a winner.

Hey, kids, you guys have Hot Wheel cars?

Absolutely, yes, sir.

Well, who's faster, Snake or Mongoose?

Snake. Oh, no. Come on.

You paid those kids to say that.

They know the truth. Hey, guys.

Great crowd.

Look at all the kids. I love it.

What do you think of the new cars?

Hey, great new colors.

You mean the same cars, Art? They look the same to me.

Those cars were number-one and number-two best sellers last year.

Don't fix it if it ain't broken.

Right, Don? Yeah.

You'd know. Here you go.


Here are the new dragsters.

All right, different cars.

Somehow the same color.

Here, Art. This is our schedule for the next six months.

Not a lot of dates open for us.

Yeah, well, the NHRA keeps growing, which is great for both of us.

We can keep racing cars, and you can keep selling 'em.

I hope so, Tom.

Me, too. I got to get going.

I got a meeting at General Motors.


Hey, Top Fuel cars and funny cars.

That's what you wanted, right?

Sure. I mean, I guess so.

No, you got to play ball, Don.

Come on. Damn it.

And with the smoking in front of the kids.

They don't care.

Do you love funny cars?

Do you love women in halter tops and short shorts?

Then you'll want to be at US-69 Dragway this Friday night for the ultimate in racing and good times.

'Cause that's when Don "The Snake" Prudhomme and Tom "The Mongoose" McEwen face off in a best-of-three match race...

That'll thrill the acne off your face.

But wait. There's more!

'Cause every Friday night is fox hunt night, and all women over 69 get in free.

Don't miss this one! The Snake and the Mongoose!

Fox hunt Friday night! US-69 Dragway!

Be there, or read about it in the police report.

What the hell's the big emergency?

I don't know. Spear just said come over.

That's the best you could do, huh? That's classy, Tom.

Hit the button, Don. Yeah.

You can go right in.

Nice threads, Mr. Prudhomme.

Thanks for coming in.

I thought it only fair to do this in person.

Have a seat.

What's going on here?

Well, Tom, Don, Hot Wheels' marketing team has decided to make some changes.

What kind of changes?

I'm sorry, but Mattel will not be renewing our major sponsorship with Wildlife Racing.

But you said our cars were your best sellers.

Well, they've both done great.

Times are different.

We're shifting gears, so to speak, keeping other options open, and frankly we think the sales on these cars have reached their peak. Here we go.

Look, I'm not saying that we want to pull out altogether.

We'd like to stay on as a secondary sponsor for the next year or two.

You guys have been great, but this is business.

No hard feelings, right?

Well, that was all your fault.

Are you kidding me, man?

You're always bitching and moaning to Spear about something.

No wonder they're dropping us.

Maybe if you tried to win a race once in a while, Tom...

To hell with you. ...they wouldn't be so bored with us.

It was always me who kept our deal on track.

Is that right, Tom? Wow.

I saw this coming.

I already got another sponsor lined up.

Oh, I bet you saw this coming.

Beech-Nut Gum. Beech-Nut?

You never said anything about talking to them.

Well, you're always too busy with the damn cars, Don.

Yeah, Tom, that's how it works.

All right, partner. Tell me about the deal.

Well, we show them what we're worth.

This time next year, it'll be a big payday.

I'm not auditioning for some chewing gum, man.

You've got to have patience, Don. You've got to develop relationships.

I've been patient my whole damn life. Don't preach patience to me.

Oh, you hold on a second here, Mr. Hotshot.

I got us the Mattel deal. You remember that?

My idea.

Without me, you'd still be painting cars with your old man.

You don't think I could do this without you, huh?

I'd be better off if I did.

I'll tell you what. I'll get my own deal, Tom.

You race your team. I'll run mine.

This Midlife Racing crap is over, man.

♪ Well, I was rolling down the road ♪

♪ In some cold blue steel ♪

♪ I had a bluesman in the back ♪

♪ And a beautician at the wheel ♪

♪ We're going downtown in the middle of the night ♪

♪ We was laughing and I'm joking and we feeling all right ♪

♪ Oh, I'm bad... ♪

♪ I'm nationwide ♪

♪ Yes, I'm bad ♪

♪ I'm nationwide... ♪ Unbeaten in one full year of NHRA competition.

31 times he left that starting line, never to be defeated.

The winningest driver in the history of drag racing, Don Prudhomme!

♪ They sporting short dresses ♪

♪ Wearing spike-heeled shoes ♪

♪ They smoking Lucky Strikes ♪

♪ And wearing nylons too ♪

♪ 'Cause we bad ♪

♪ We're nationwide ♪

♪ Yeah, we bad ♪

♪ We're nationwide. ♪


Dad! Dad!

Dad! Hey, what's going on?

It's Jamie. He won't wake up. What?

Mr. McEwen?

Yeah, I'm McEwen.

We've got your son stabilized for the time being.

What's wrong with him? He's had a stroke.

A stroke? He's just a kid. How could he have a stroke?

The stroke was brought on by something else.

Like what?

Do you want to step outside for a moment?

Dad. Just wait here, son.

I'm sorry.

He has leukemia.

Earlier this week, Tom's 13-year-old son Jamie was diagnosed with acute leukemia and is in serious condition.

With me now is Tom's friend and fellow racer, Don Prudhomme.

Don, what can you tell us about young Jamie's condition?

Uh, well, Mike, I... you're talking about a real tough situation, and, you know, we're all feeling for Tom and Jamie, the whole McEwen family, really.

Jamie is a real favorite for all the racers on the circuit.

Thank you, Don. So there you have it.

The drag-racing community races on, but its thoughts and its prayers go out to colleague, rival, and friends Torn and Jamie McEwen.

Have you spoken to Tom recently?

No. I tried him a few times. No answer.

I can't believe how long it's been since we've seen them.

I sent the boys something for Christmas.

Oh, that's great. I'm sure they'll love it.

It's got to be hard with Jamie in and out of the hospital so much.



You should try him tomorrow.

You might be able to catch him.

Hey, Jamie! Hi, Jamie!


Hi, Mr. Parks. Hey there. How you doing?

How's it going, Wally? Good to see you back, Tom.

Hey, sonny. How you feeling? Good.

You guys know Paula. Hey.

Someone told me you're 'Goose's secret weapon.

Yeah, he's my best man on fuel.

Taught him everything he needs to know.

Now we're going to kick some butt, right, Dad?

That's right. That's the spirit.

All right, well, good luck. Good luck to you both.

Thanks. Good to see you.

Thank you.

And watch out for snakes.

Watch out for snakes.


Now you got a fighting chance.

Ha. We're here to beat you, Snake.

Yeah, yeah.

Running the Plymouth again, I see, huh?

Yeah. Well, she's won a couple races for me.


I'm out of the Navy deal.

Seems like the old times are in our rearview.


Wouldn't be so sure about that, 'Goose. Come on.


Never thought I'd see the day. Hey. Hey, guys.

Jamie, it's good to see you. Come here.

Hi. How are you?

Look. What?

Got no hair. Oh, my gosh. Look at that.


Nah, he's been a real trouper, taking it all in stride.

So when did this happen? She looks like she's gonna pop.

A couple more months now.

Ah, can't happen soon enough.

Yeah, you actually did it.

Sometimes your priorities change, right?


My priority is to beat you and everybody else here.

All right. Okay, I'm going to go sit down.

Jamie, it was good to see you.

Bye. Bye.

Come on, Dad. Let's get back to the car.

Guys, don't forget this is my event. Hell, you watch TV.

You know this whole year's been mine.

Well, not if I take it from you.

And here they come, as the noise level picks up.

They're almost tied on elapsed time from the first round.

What a beautiful race, a fantastic race.

And the win lights call it.

Don Prudhomme, 6.31, 225...

Hey, bud.

Hey, buddy, wake up. Hmm?

Your mom's here.

Oh. Must have dozed off.


Maybe spending all day at the track is a little bit too much for you.

No. I want to be here.

I know.

Look, your mom... thinks it might be a good idea for you stay close to home for a while.

I do too.

But I want to be with you.

Well, hey, I'm taking a break.

I'm going to be close to home too.

Dad, you got to race.

And leave you?

No, sirree.

I'll be fine.

No, can't do it.

I'll get better faster.


It's that important to you?

I want you to beat Snake in Indy.


Yeah, buddy. I promise.

That was incredible. I know.

You had to carry him over here.

It's nearly 11:00.

Please tell me you made it to the finals.

Nah, Don won it.

Made it to the quarters, though.

Jamie wanted to stay and watch Snake win.

He wants me to keep racing.

I told him I would.

If you were any kind of father, you'd stay close to home no matter what.

Now, that ain't fair.

Okay? He's the one begging me to go back.

Just try to make it home every few weeks.

I told him if he's doing good, that...

you know, maybe he can come out for the SummerNats, Indy too.

Torn, you know that's not possible.

The doctor said he had to stay close to home.


Well, I got to get going. Yeah.

Stay in touch.

Yeah, you too.

♪ Ooh, yeah ♪

♪ Time ♪

♪ Is taken away too soon... ♪

>PRUDHOMME VS. McEWEN FUNNY CAR - FINAL The great battle may be here, "The Snake" Don Prudhomme versus "The Mongoose" McEwen.

Funny cars are away.

This is for the Spring National title.

Close. Prudhomme... gets the advantage.

Don Prudhomme has won again, a 240 mile-an-hour top speed, 6.07 for the quarter mile.

Prudhomme, "The Snake."

♪ And they're gone ♪

♪ We're left to answer the call ♪

♪ To carry on ♪

♪ Another day ♪

♪ Carry on ♪

♪ 'Cause it's the only way ♪

♪ Carry on ♪

♪ Tears will come. ♪ Oh, no.

Hi. Come here.

You're home early. Come on.

Here. Take her.

We got the sponsorship done. Oh. Nice.

Sent the boys home early, didn't I?

You want a drink? No, thank you.

No, thank you. Shh.

How's my number one girl doing, huh?

I'm tired.

We weren't talking to Mommy, were we?

No, I know you want to play.

I know.

Hey, Tom.

Oh, hey there, Wendy. What you working on?

Oh, the engine.

The engine.

It looks good.

So why don't you call tonight, take me to our spot, and we can have some fun.

Yeah, I... can't really play that game anymore, Wendy.

Are you sure you're the Mongoose?

I'm pretty sure.

So long, Tom.

Hey, buddy. Hi, Dad.

How's it going? How's it going with you?

Hey, it looks like you know exactly how it's going with me, huh?

He's keeping an eye on you.

Seems to be the only thing he talks about lately.

Looks like Snake's biting Mongoose again, huh?

Yeah, yeah. He always saves his best for us.

But we'll get him in Indy, right, Dad?

Oh, you bet we're going to get him in Indy.

You rest for a minute, sweetie, okay?

Come right back, Dad. I could play some cards.

Hey, yeah, champ, I'm going to be right back, okay?

What the hell happened? He looked pretty good two weeks ago.

His body rejected the last bone-marrow transplant.

The doctors say that's it. They can't do another one.

It's okay, Tom. He knows. He knows?

Are you kid...

Well, how bad is it?

I mean, how much longer does he have?

Six months... six weeks... it's hard to say.

Well, maybe you're right.

Right about what?

Sticking around more.

I wasn't right, Torn.

In fact, I couldn't have been more wrong.

All Jamie ever talks about is Tom "The Mongoose" McEwen.

You've been his hero since the first time he knew what a dragster was.

He talks the staffs ear off about you and Don.

Drag racing has made... what life he has had special.

Everybody loves Jamie.

Nice service, huh?

Oh, hey, you remember this one?

Oh, yeah. Yeah.

What's that, Lions?

'63, '64?

It's March '63, day after Jamie was born.

Hell, you couldn't wait to come out and try to kick my ass.

I did, too.

Yeah, you and that damn holeshot.

Man, he used to love coming down here ever since he was a little kid.

I used to let him torque the heads on the old hemis.

Just to hear the sound of the wrench click.

He loved that. Yeah.

So what are you going to do now, Torn?


I'm done.

I was racing for Jamie. Now he's gone, so...

Yeah, I know.

Remember I thought I was done after that Nicoll's crash?

How you stayed on me?

"What do you got left, Snake?

What do you got left, Snake?"

You got a bunch of guys rooting for you, Tom.

Nobody wants you to shut it down, you know?

I did already win Indy, like, six times.

Guess you could just sit here and let me win it again.

What would Jamie want you to do?

I'd like to welcome each and every one of you to this, the final day of the U.S. Nationals here at Indianapolis Raceway Park.

Joining me here today is Steve Evans, who can tell us just how big this event really is.

Dave, the magnitude of this 24-year-old U.S. Nationals is just awesome... over 1,000 participants, over $400,000 in cash awards, a 200-acre racing facility, 1,000 workers, about $15 million pumped into the Hoosier economy.

100,000 people are ready.

I'm certainly ready for the finals of the granddaddy of all drag races, the U.S. Nationals.

We'll be back with racing from the Nationals in just a moment.

Cutting it pretty close, Mother Goose.


Going to whip your ass today.

All right, Tommy.

We can do it, Dad.

The word through the pits is that Beadle is back.

The driver of the Blue Max, Raymond Beadle, against Tom McEwen.

Beadle recorded a 5.98-second elapsed time in qualifying.

He was number-one qualifier.

That time has since been beaten, though, by Prudhomme's 5.97 seconds.

Beadle won the Nationals back in 1975 and would love to repeat, but he's got his hands full here.

And it's Tom McEwen at the finish line, 6.18.

A 6.18. Bring it on.

Back at the U.S. Nationals, the semifinal round of Funny Car eliminator.

A pair of Californians.

Lil' John Lombardo recording one of the quickest elapsed times of his career, 6.07 seconds, in the previous round.

And he'll need every bit of it as he races Don Prudhomme, the defending champion and three-time world champion, equaling the national record for funny cars just a few rounds earlier at 5.97 seconds.

Coming to the electronic staging field.

And John Lombardo up in smoke.

Prudhomme once again squeezes through.

His elapsed time: 6.05.

Mr. Consistency.

Putting Prudhomme into the final.

Ed, pull the gears.

Install those 430s we've been carrying.

Hold on now. Hold on now. Just a second.

That's a hell of a gamble you're taking.

Better not smoke the tires, eh?

Just do it, Ed.

You're the boss. You heard him. Jimmy, pop the tires.

We're going to pull the rear in. Let's go!

McEwen getting an easy run here, a single.

And his competition, Ron Colson, crossing the center line in the previous round of competition.

McEwen shutting it off early, obviously just tapping the starting line, didn't want to hurt any parts.

Hear that? Yeah.

That sounds different. Sounds like he lowered the gear.

I know exactly what to do, boss.

Hey, Tommy, toss me that roll of duct tape there.

Everything okay, Dad? Yep.

Just need to add something.

I thought you said everything was all right.


There we go.

These two have a history going back two decades.

They even raced together in a partnership... the Wildlife Racing team.

What better than when you have a snake and a mongoose, but to team up and tour the country?

Funny car eliminator final race.

Tom "The Mongoose" McEwen against his longtime friend and nemesis Don "The Snake" Prudhomme.

Prudhomme wrapping up another world championship title.

That makes it four in a row.

But the race is on the line for the national championship in funny car.

Prudhomme in the far lane.

That has been the better lane in racing thus far later this afternoon.

In the near lane: Tom McEwen.

And they're off the line, and Prudhomme smokes the tires!

McEwen pulling ahead.

And it is Tom McEwen with the upset of the race.

The crew's just going berserk.

Tom McEwenKs crew members very, very happy, as Tom himself winning it for the first time.

A really emotional moment down here.

I have seen Don Prudhomme lose before, and he's usually a recluse.

He gets in his truck, he leaves the racetrack immediately, talks to nobody.

This is just a little bit different.

He was with me the whole time.

Me too, brother. Me too.

Come on, let's get you out of here.

You're a hell of a driver, man.

Better than you?

Today, you are.


Hey! Dad!

He won't split the money with you? He don't want to split the money.

He's over here, he's saying he hasn't won a national event in about 48 hours.

He's kind of down.

It should be a good race.

You know, we've met many times this year, and, you know, fortunately we've came out okay, but you never know. The cars can be turned.

You know, Tom's liable to jump up and put us away, but we're going to be trying very hard.

I know he's going to be, so it'll be a tremendous last round.

Your guys are frantically working on the motor, yet you're over here fooling around with him.

Well, ifs just going back together right now.

We got plenty of time, and I'm just starting to take it a little easier instead of thrash so much on the thing.

I've been watching him, and it seems to work.

See, his biggest problem is he's not as serious of a racer as I am.

♪ Time ♪

♪ Is taken away too soon ♪

♪ With no way to say or choose ♪

♪ When we go ♪

♪ So life ♪

♪ Is precious to us all ♪

♪ And when the ones we love must fall ♪

♪ And they're gone ♪

♪ We're left to answer the call ♪

♪ To carry on another day ♪

♪ Carry on... ♪ We've had a real good year.

We ran 6.64 at Orange County out in California in February, which was a low E.T. backed up with 6.70.

♪ It's so hard to say good-bye ♪

♪ We simply got to try ♪

♪ To carry on ♪

♪ Love ♪

♪ Is everywhere we turn ♪

♪ But there is so much left to learn ♪

♪ Like how are we supposed to handle the hurt ♪

♪ And a loss? ♪

♪ And how ♪

♪ How do we fill this empty space? ♪

♪ How do we lose the bitter taste? ♪

♪ It's so hard to do ♪

♪ But they're in a better place ♪

♪ To carry on ♪

♪ Another day ♪

♪ Carry on ♪

♪ 'Cause it's the only way... ♪ He later made five-second history in the semifinals of eliminations with his 5.98-second shot while defeating Raymond Beadle in the Blue Max.

♪ We simply got to try ♪

♪ To carry on ♪

♪ And lift ourselves up ♪

♪ To the top of the world ♪

♪ To see heaven above ♪

Don Prudhomme has just become the first person to go 250 miles an hour in a funny car.

♪ Carry on ♪

♪ 'Cause it's the only way ♪

♪ Carry on... ♪

260-mile-an-hour speeds, they are rarely seen.

Yeah, my crew is just great.

I don't know what to say about 'em. My help is good.

My sponsors are great.

You know, I'm driving pretty good for an old man this year.

♪ I try to carry on. ♪

And congratulations. Thanks a lot. It's super.

Well, I haven't seen Don Prudhomme any happier since the last time he won the U.S. Nationals.

And this is where I started out, Indy here, you know, in '65 with a Top Fuel car, and to end my career in a funny car at this race is great.

Look out, Top Fuel. Snake's on his way.

You have won your first ever Top Fuel national event.

What a job. Thanks, Steve.

I can't thank Jack Clark Racing and Mobil 1 and Larry Meyer and all the crew guys and everybody that's helped us.

♪ Well, how you like me now? ♪

♪ Now that I'm not afraid? ♪

♪ And did you think that I could ♪

♪ Come put you down to your face? ♪

♪ Well, how you like me now? ♪

♪ Now that I'm not afraid? ♪

♪ And did you think that I could ♪