Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

Westside

August 27, 2013

New movie depicts fierce drag racing rivalry

Opens in conjunction with U.S. Nationals

AVON — It’s a drag racing fan’s paradise this weekend.

Not only is Lucas Oil Raceway hosting the National Hot Rod Association’s annual U.S. Nationals, but a movie about two of the sport’s most iconic names will make its debut here.

“Snake & Mongoo$e” chronicles the racing careers of Don “The Snake” Prudhomme and Tom “The Mongoo$e” McEwen, two Southern California racers who had a fierce rivalry on the drag strip in the ‘60s and ‘70s and a strong friendship off it.

A red carpet premiere (not open to the public) will be conducted Thursday at Regal Shiloh Crossing in Avon. The movie will be screened for the public after that. Tickets and times are available online at SnakeAndMongooseMovie.com.

Both Prudhomme and McEwen will be at the red carpet, as will Richard Blake, who plays McEwen in the film. Ashley Hinshaw, an Indianapolis-born actor who plays Prudhomme’s wife, also will be at the premiere along with Alexis DeJoria, a Kalitta Motorsports and Tequila Patron Toyota Camry Funny Car driver.

DeJoria makes a cameo in “Snake & Mongoo$e.” She plays a driver named Pam, and has a scene where she meets McEwen in the pits.

“It’s a short scene but it was really fun to do,” said DeJoria, who’s racing in the U.S. Nationals this weekend. Ron Capps, a fellow Funny Car driver who was part of Prudhomme’s race team, also makes an appearance in the film and will be at the premiere.

DeJoria got to meet Prudhomme early in her career.

“Really awesome guy, just super cool,” she said.

He and McEwen got their nicknames because a mongoose is one of the few animals that can beat a snake. Aside from their rivalry, “Snake & Mongoo$e” also depicts another pivotal event in motorsports history.

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