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Gail's Racing History



Gail Watson Phillips



The history behind Gail and the P.O.P. Motorsports Racing Team


1993           Asked by husband Allen Phillips and Doug Odom, engine builder/car designer,
                  to be the driver of the car Doug was building to break landspeed records.
                  Initially it was thought the uniqueness of a female driver would help in
                  getting sponsorships.  (It didn’t really help). 

The P.O.P. Motorsports team was  born. P
= Gail Phillips,  O = Doug Odom, P = Al Phillips

1993         Attended her first Hall of Fame “Gas-Up” at Jack Mendenhall’s
                Petroleum Museum to see and meet some racers and see what it was all about.

1994           Joined Gold Coast Roadster & Racers club and Southern California Timing
                  Association (SCTA).  (To this day, still the only racing female member of the  GCR&R).

1995           First “rookie” run at the Bonneville Salt Flats Speed week.  Numerous
                  mechanical problems prevented more than one licensing run, but managed  
                  to get her first E license for 126 MPH.  Also ran at El Mirage and was introduced to ‘life in the dirt’! 

                  Became Secretary for the Gold Coast Roadster & Racers Club for 1995.

1996           Became a public service sponsor for Tri-counties Tobacco Youth Education. 
                  Promoted non-smoking message to youths, using the race car with logos, at   
                 car shows, school displays and passing out photo trading cards with the
                 slogan “You don’t have to smoke to be cool.  Be Smart-Don’t Start”. 
                 Entire racing crew of 6 are non-smokers.

1997           Set her first record of 163.44 mph at the Second Annual Muroc Reunion at   
                  Edwards Air Force Base in the Mojave Desert.   
                  Broke the existing E/Modified Sports record at Bonneville Speed Week by
                  almost 22 mph,
setting a new record of 179.624 MPH.  She promised her
                  mother she wouldn’t race anymore after setting the record. 
                  She broke that promise.

1999           Set new record in August at the Bonneville Salt Flats Speed Week, going  
202.098 mph, in the E/Modified Sports class, bumping the record up
                   another 22 mph!  
Became the eighth woman inducted into the Bonneville 200 MPH Club.
Set new record in November at the El Mirage Dry Lakes, going 173.343 mph
                   She again promised her mother she wouldn’t race anymore now that she held  
                  all records in her class.  She broke that promise.

2000           Broke her  own record at the Muroc Reunion at Edwards Air Force Base in  
                  June, going
171.100 mph.  Spun out at approx. 180 mph but took out timing  
                  lights so the speed didn’t count.  Interviewed by Speedvision and shown on
                  Hot Rod TV episode with Mike Moran. 

                  Secretary of the GCR&R club.

2000           While test driving a new engine, builder Doug Odom rolled the race car at the
                  November El Mirage meet and severely damaged it, just 6 weeks before it   
                  was to be shipped to Australia.  Doug survived with minor injuries and began   
                  fixing the car the next day.  He and the crew worked night and day, through   
                  the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays to entirely rebuild the car.  They
                  added 18” in length, and finished painting it the day it was loaded into the
                  shipping container for the six week trip to Australia, to arrive in time to race
                   with the Dry Lakes Racers Australia (DLRA) in March 2001.

2001           While racing in the outback of South Australia, at Lake Gairdner, with the Dry
                   Lakes Racers of Australia, Gail
set a new record of 205.536 mph becoming the
                   first female to set a record over 200 mph in a sanctioned, timed event in Australia. 
Doug Odom set a new record of 220 mph in the C/Modified Sports class. 
                   She again promised her mother she was retiring, now that she held  
                   every E/MS record in all venues.  She broke that promise.

                  Raced at Bonneville’s Speed Week in August going 201 MPH, but backup run
                  of 198 MPH did not average more than her own 202 MPH record so her 202 MPH record still stands.           

                  Secretary of the GCR&R club.

2002           Produced and edited a TV show called Just Central Coast Motorsports for
                  San Luis Obispo County’s public access station.  Interviewed and filmed car shows
                  and people involved in racing and the motorsports industry including an   
                  extensive interview of Jack Mendenhall and a tour of his Gasoline Pump and
                  Petroleum Museum, the site of the annual Dry Lakes Racer’s Hall of Fame Gas-Up. 
Produced a one hour video tribute of Jack and his accomplishments  
making it available to all racers at the 10th annual Dry Lakes Racers Hall of Fame “Gas-Up“.         

                  Still Secretary of the GCR&R club.

2003           Began building a new Landspeed race car, a C-5 Corvette, to compete in the
                  GT (Grand Touring) class.  The goal is to have the world’s fastest production  
                  body Corvette, going over 260 MPH.  Couldn’t pass up a deal to buy a   
streamliner so they are also getting that vehicle ready to race over 300 MPH.
                  They plan to run both vehicles at Bonneville, El Mirage and then ship either  
                  one or both vehicles to Australia to run at Lake Gairdner in 2007. 
                  Still Secretary of the GCR&R club.   It is obvious that racing is definitely in her  
                  blood and she has ceased making promises to her mother. 

2004           One of five women invited to be a guest speaker at the world renowned
                  Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, California during their four  
                  month exhibit SPEED The World‘s Fastest Cars.  The March Exhibit program was
                   “Speed Queens: Women in Land Speed Racing.

                   Joined the Utah Salt Flats Racing Association (USFRA) and raced at
                   September’s World of Speed in the Austin Healey Sprite to test a new
                   Nitrous Oxide system.  During the first run the nitrous didn’t work as designed so the
                   first run was only 198 MPH but
her second run of 215 MPH brought her  
                  averaged speed to a new World Record of 205 MPH in the E/Fuel Modified
                   Sports class (E/FMS).
Bringing Gail’s total World records to six!

Gail’s racing began as an exciting hobby, her day job during most of her racing career was
as a consultant for Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes, in San Luis Obispo, California, a company
that specializes in helping people with literacy and learning difficulties such as Dyslexia, Hyperlexia,
and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD and ADHD).  But at the end of 2004 she “retired” from her 8 to 5 job to
pursue her and her husband’s dream of moving to Australia.  Recently having purchased property in
South Australia, they plan on racing at Lake Gairdner with their newest vehicles and hope to take
those vehicles around the country to car shows and automotive/race events to help promote the DLRA
and their addicting type of racing - speed - to the Australian people.

The P.O.P. Motorsports racing team expects the next few years to be very busy and exciting. 
 When you next see Gail, be prepared to ‘salute’ her in her red, white and blue racing suit
to match her patriotic red, white and blue Landspeed Corvette.

Note: Gail’s husband Allen restores and builds straight-axle Corvettes while supporting
and encouraging her need for speed.   


#1 Gail's Racing History  

 #2 OZ Trip 2001

 #3 C-5 Vette at Bonneville 2006 

#4 Doug's Racing History 

Australia 2007    

Car Stats
Doug's Crash 

Doug's Crash Photos


Gail Background

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