Motorsports mourns the loss of Paul Candies

  by    0   0

Paul Candies, who with partner Leonard Hughes fielded championship-winning Top Fuel and Funny Car teams in the 1970s and 1980s, died July 21. Candies provided the funding and Hughes the tuning on a series of popular and powerful race cars.

The dynamic duo first joined forces in 1964 after previously fielding their own teams. Candies even drove for a short time on a Top Fuel car in the 1960s with partner Q-Ball Wales while Hughes fielded Stockers. The charismatic Candies, who ran the Otto Candies tugboat empire started by his father, brought the financial wherewithal and Hughes the mechanical skills for a series of cars that were feared from coast to coast.

In 1970, the Candies & Hughes team was part of the historic first all-team Pro final when Hughes drove the team’s No. 1 car past team driver Larry Reyes in the final round of the NHRA Gatornationals.

The team moved to Top Fuel in the 1980s, first with Texan Richard Tharp, who drove their blue fueler to the NHRA world championship in 1976, then an unsung Ohio driver named Mark Oswald, who blossomed into one of the most talented drivers on the circuit, and, when the team switched back to Funny Cars in the 1980s, helped them make history as the first team to win titles in both classes when he won the 1984 NHRA Funny Car crown.

Even after Candies and Hughes retired from the sport, the Candies name lives on in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series ranks, where his sons, P.B. and Brett, compete.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to Top