The following extracts were taken from the October 1979 issue of Drag Racing News.
Santa Pod Raceway, Bank Holiday supernationals, August 25/26/27 1979.
"Allan Herridge, who survived a fireball run in the Gladiator during qualifing, flipped the Vega in spectacular fashion on the money run against Owen Hayward.
Qualifing saw Owen as top qualifier in Houndog with a fine 6.50s/200 m.p.h. Allan meantime went through the traps in a ball of fire on a 6.61/207 pass- burning the chute off and one of the slicks as a result of an oil leak catching light. But Bootsie was back for the elims, even though there was very little paint left on the fibreglass body............."
"For the final, Gladiator sounded so mean it was unreal. As the Milodon powered Vega left the line, it headed skywards before getting out of shape and hitting the barrier- the car ending up on its roof. Hayward motored to a 7.38/139 win as Bootsie crawled out and walked back to the start line to a big round of applause from the crowd............."
Allan later commented; "I had nothing to worry about, it was a good strong car and it did need a new body"!
"The supernationals saw Allan celebrating 20 years of Drag Racing, to mark this a surprise party was laid on for him on the Saturday night, which he described as 'one hell of a do'- The many guests provided him with a pair of fire boots and gloves, amongst other items."
Bootsies Gladiator Funny Car lies on (what's left of) its roof after the crash