Sport: Drag Racing
Induction Year: 2018
Candies, a des Allemands resident and Southeastern Louisiana alumnus who died in 2013, won five International Hot Rod Association championships, two National Hot Rod Association titles, and had nine top-five seasons. Away from racing, he was longtime chairman of the long-running Grand Isle International Tarpon Rodeo, the world’s biggest fishing tournament, and became known as the
“Granddaddy of the Tarpon Rodeo.”
He was one-half of the formidable drag racing partnership of Candies & Hughes, which began in 1964 when Leonard Hughes, who’d been racing Chevrolet stockers, wanted to go faster. The man to help him achieve that goal was Candies, his longtime friend. By 1968, they were part of the fledgling Funny Car class in the National Hot Rod Association and set the national record of 7.87 seconds in LaPlace.
The next year, they had low e.t. and top speed at the U.S. Nationals with a national speed record and also won at the Winternationals. The Candies & Hughes team won 45 major events — including 28 NHRA titles in the Funny Car (18) and Top Fuel (10) classes between 1970 and 1994. The first two of those breakthrough wins came with Hughes at the wheel in the 1970 Gatornationals and 1971 Summernationals in the Funny Car class. They later became the first team to win NHRA and IHRA Winston championships in the same year and were enshrined in the IHRA Hall of Fame in 1999.