Chuck Etchells, the man who piloted drag racing’s first four-second Funny Car, passed away on July 6 at the age of 61.
Etchells began his racing career in 1974, bracket racing his D/Gas Dodge in the Northeast. He eventually moved into Funny Car racing in the late 1970s and got his first national event win at the NHRA Summernationals in 1990. He went on to earn 13 NHRA Funny Car victories as a driver and 15 wins as a team owner.
Etchells is probably best known for his historic 4.987-second pass in Topeka in 1993 — the first four-second run in a Funny Car. Despite a shoestring budget, Etchells finished second in the Funny Car points standings during that record-setting 1993 season.
You can read more about Etchells and his career in this NHRA post.