Herb McCandless

Herb McCandless with 1972 Dodge Demon

Herb McCandless


Mike’s father is the legendary racer Herb McCandless, Sr., who started drag racing in 1959 at the age of 16.  He was immediately hooked and “Mr. 4 Speed” was born.  Herb earned the nickname because of his ability to shift a manual transmission while making it sound as smooth as an automatic.  Herb is from an era of racing where the racer was the engine builder, mechanic, truck driver and race car driver all rolled in to one. 

His son’s passion for vintage Mopars was passed down from his father and is now a shared hobby between the two.  Many of the cars in this collection receive proper care and maintenance by Herb himself.  So much for retirement!  In his spare time, he travels, does freelance writing, and makes public appearances.  You might run into Herb anywhere, from a Saturday night cruise-in to the NHRA US Nationals.

Career Highlights

1965 – Herb’s involvement with Chrysler Racing Program begins

1968 – Quit printing job to race full time

1968 – Won 36 of 52 races run, placed 2nd in 8 of the races.  These were “Southern Style Heads Up” events

1968 – Herb is crowned AHRA Heads Up Super Stock Champion

1970 – Accepted job as Sox and Martin team driver

1970 – Won the first ever NHRA Pro Stock Eliminator at the US Nationals in Indianapolis, IN

1970 – Won 2 AHRA GT-1 Eliminator races

1970 – Runner Up NHRA Pro Stock Eliminator at Summer Nationals, Super Nationals and World Finals

1970 – First person to record NHRA National Event Wins in both Pro and Sportsman Eliminators in the same season

1971 – First time in NHRA history that two teammates (Ronnie Sox & McCandless) ran against each other in a final event

1972 – Won 4 out of 6 United States Racing Team events (Englishtown, Union Grove, Atco and New England Dragway)

1973 – First Pro Stock Car to run 8:53 at Atco, NJ

1975 – Opened McCandless Performance Parts, Inc.

1976 – Worked with Chrysler Corporation on their W2 cylinder head development program

1976 – Won 3 IHRA Super Modified Eliminator Races

1988 – Inductee NHRA Division 2 Hall of Fame

1996 – Herb retired from McCandless Performance Parts, Inc. after 10 years on Direct Connection’s Top 10 Dealer List

1997 – Inductee Super Stock Magazine Hall of Fame

2002 – Inductee South East Drag Times Hall of Fame

2008 – Inductee NC Drag Racing Hall of Fame

2017 – Recipient of the Mopar President’s Award in recognition of his excellence in racing, service as a Mopar brand ambassador and loyal commitment to the Mopar brand