Legendary drag racer Graeme Cowin has been inducted into the Australian Motor Sport Hall of Fame presented by Speedcafe.com.
Cowin made history on a sunny summer afternoon at Calder Park in 1993 when he became the first driver outside of North America to break five seconds (4.895s at 473.84km/h) for a standing quarter-mile.
Amid a run in the sport spanning five decades, Cowin was crowned Australia’s Top Fuel champion in 1995, and also forged a path in NHRA-sanctioned events in North America.
“I am surprised, deeply honoured, humbled and proud,” he told Speedcafe.com.
“None of this would have been possible without my wife Wendy. Our partnership started in 1967 with a passion for racing and is still as strong as ever today.”
A truck driver with a need for speed, his and Wendy’s Cowin Family Racing set a new benchmark for performance and professionalism in drag racing, and they also invested their life savings into the now iconic Psycho nitro-fuelled drag car that became a star attraction across the nation.
Cowin also established the industry leading Rocket Industries parts business which is based in Huntingwood, near Eastern Creek and Sydney Dragway.
In a storied career in the sport, which still hasn’t ended, the ANDRA Hall of Famer nominated his adventure in the States as one of his most memorable achievements.
“It’s hard to stipulate one highlight, but one that stands out was qualifying for the US Nationals, at Indianapolis in 1985,” Cowin recalled.
“It was the first race I ever attended in America. I got to race on of my all-time heroes in the first round, John Force.
“Even though we lost by a foot, we felt like we still won by qualifying at the biggest race in the world.”
Perhaps fittingly, Cowin couldn’t attend tonight’s gala event at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. He is currently in Perth with his Aeroflow Nitro hot rod team as part of the Aeroflow Outlaw Nitro Funny Car series.
His award was collected by Aeroflow Brand Manager, friend, and fellow racer Glen Collet.
Graeme Cowin breaks five seconds at Calder