"World's Fastest Race Car" returns to Daytona
In 1961, Art Malone drove this Chrysler Hemi V8-powered Kurtis Kraft Indy roadster to a closed course world-record lap speed of 181.561 mph at Daytona International Speedway. Malone and car-builder Bob Osiecki pocketed the $10,000 prize that NASCAR's Bill France had offered to the first car to lap his recently opened speedway at 180+ mph, making it in turn the fastest racetrack in the world. The secret was in the large wings Osiecki installed midship based on advice from Georgia Tech aerodynamics expert John J. Harper, a milestone in the application of downforce in racing. You can see "Mad Dog IV" daily at the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America, on the grounds of Daytona International Speedway. Special thanks to Don "Big Daddy" Garlits for loaning the car from his collection at the Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing in Ocala, FL.