CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Robby Gordon OFF-ROAD officials are honored to announce that the 2013 SPEED Energy Stadium SUPER Trucks Champion will be the recipient of the Inaugural Mickey Thompson Championship Trophy, named in honor of the late championship racer, innovator, and promoter, Mickey Thompson.
Born Dec. 7, 1928, in San Fernando, Calif., Thompson was an integral player in the West Coast drag-racing scene of the 1950’s. His most notable achievement during this time was the creation of the first slingshot dragster in 1954.
However, it was during Thompson’s time managing the Lion Drag Strip near Long Beach, Calif., he created some of the most innovative improvements in racing safety. The development of the ‘Christmas Tree’ starting lights that are implemented throughout drag racing today, took the human starter out of the equation. During the same period, it was Thompson’s idea to fill barrels with water to help absorb a car’s energy during a crash; the same safety technique is now used in Stadium SUPER Trucks competition years later.
As a championship driver, Thompson set more speed and endurance records than any other driver in automotive history. A 2007 Automobile Quarterly article estimated that Thompson participated in more than 10,000 races, drove more than one million race miles, and set nearly 500 speed and endurance records, including 295 records at the famous Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah.
Though it was his love for off-road racing that led Thompson to found SCORE Int’l in 1973, a sanctioning body to oversee endurance off-road racing throughout North America. Thompson continuously said that the only ones to enjoy this form of magnificent racing were “Nothing but cactus, and jackrabbits.” He wanted to bring the excitement of desert racing to a wider audience.