Stu Hilborn, who invented the constant flow mechanical fuel injector that revolutionized the sport of auto racing, died Dec. 16. He was 96.
Hilborn became interested in amateur racing on dry lake beds before World War II. After the war, he began experimenting with ideas for mechanical fuel injection, and tested them on his own race cars. Only a few years later, his injectors were adopted by professional racers with notable success, including the first to break the 150-mph mark. Beginning in 1949, Hilborn-equipped cars claimed dozens of victories at the Indy 500.
Hilborn eventually launched a company to sell his injection systems to the public, which became popular with the hot rodders of the 1950s and 1960s. A classic mechanical Hilborn injection system is recognizable by its distinctive flared velocity stack intake pipes, rising straight up from each cylinder, flared at the open top, and usually polished or plated for a bright, shiny finish. Today, that company continues to provide performance products including mechanical and electronic fuel injection systems.
Hilborn is a member of the SEMA Hall of Fame as well as the Hot Rod Magazine Speed Parts Hall of Fame.
Hilborn is survived by his wife of 60 years, Ginny; daughter Edris; son Duane; four grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
Steve Kalb, left, and Gary Burgin, right.
Steve Kalb, who with his brother Pete became surprise charter members of the Cragar 5-Second Club for Top Fuelers in 1974, died recently. He was 72.
The brothers began racing together – Pete driving and Steve tuning -- in the late 1960s with a Jr gas dragster. The stepped up to Top Fuel in the early 1970s, and at Arizona’s Beeline Dragway on jan. 26, 1974 they became 10th member of the prestigious Cragar club. At the time, Kalb also was working at the shop of fuel-engine maestro Keith Black, which led in 1975 to a five-year stint as crew chief for the famed Orange Baron Funny Car of Gary Burgin and handed Don Prudhomme his only loss of the 1976 season in the final round of the U.S. Nationals. After his drag racing career ended, he also crewed on an Indycar for couple of years.
He is survived by his wife, Penny ; son Jim Kalb; stepchildren Roger Stewart and Stacie Buss; and grandchildren Nicole, Samantha, Tyler, and Destiny.
The Andrea Pedregon Charity Foundation "A Spark of Hope" (APCF) wrapped up a year of fundraising efforts with the presentation of a $50,000 donation to the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center.
APCF has worked throughout 2013 to increase awareness for colon and prostate cancer and raise funds to support IU Simon Cancer Center's research efforts in those areas. Founder Andrea Pedregon made the check presentation today to Patrick Loehrer, M.D., director of the IU Simon Cancer Center. Cancer center physician scientists Bert O'Neil, M.D. and Noah Hahn, M.D. - who are experts in clinical trials and colon and prostate cancers - were on hand for the ceremony.
With today's check presentation, APCF has raised a total of $140,000 to benefit melanoma, children's cancer, and colon and prostate cancer research at IU Simon Cancer Center over the past three years.
Pedregon said, "We are so fortunate to have such generous supporters who helped our fundraising efforts reach this milestone. It means so much to be able to make an impact on the exciting research initiatives at the IU Simon Cancer Center right here in Indianapolis."
Pedregon, wife of two-time NHRA Funny Car champion Tony Pedregon, designed and produced a collectible 2012 NHRA Yearbook that raised more than $20,000 for the effort. Among other fundraisers this year was a live auction for fans and supporters at the US Nationals drag race at Lucas Oil Raceway over Labor Day weekend that netted $26,000.
Less than a month after clinching Al-Anabi Racing’s third NHRA Mello Yello Top Fuel World Championship in the last four years, key team personnel attended this week’s Doha Goals Forum in Qatar. The Doha Goals Forum is the world’s premier platform for world leaders to advance initiatives for global progress through sport.
Team owner Sheikh Khalid Bin Hamad Al Thani, team manager Alan Johnson, Dubai driver Khalid alBalooshi, and 2013 NHRA Mello Yello Top Fuel champion Shawn Langdon were all in attendance. New general manager Brandon Bernstein was also in Qatar but did not have a role in the Goals Forum. The team presented the 2013 NHRA Mello Yello Top Fuel World Championship Trophy to the Qatari Government while in Doha.
The Doha Goals vision statement begins with: “Sport unifies us across borders, cultures, and beliefs. Sport is universal, an international language transcending language, race and religion. Sport offers a level playing field on which everyone is an equal participant. It is inclusive by nature and its fundamental principles make it highly effective in addressing problems of global concern. Doha GOALS (Gathering of All Leaders in Sports) is the world’s premier platform for world leaders to create social initiatives through sport.”
Sheikh Khalid and Johnson participated in Monday’s think tank on the role of private equity in sport. Among the other members of this panel were Christophe Charlier, the director of the Barclays Center and chairman of the Brooklyn Nets NBA team, Patrick Thompson, the head of partnerships for the Dallas Cowboys and Nasser bin Thaloub, the director of the UAE Football Federation as well as several others.
AlBalooshi served as an ambassador for some 400 students in attendance at the Doha Goals Forum while Langdon participated in yesterday’s session focusing on extreme sports and their future – are they about to enter the mainstream and what is their projected growth? The other panelists in Langdon’s session were Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani, the president of the Qatar Marine Sports Federation who oversees Qatar’s entries in the United States-based H1 Unlimited Hydroplane Series named the Spirit of Qatar; Tony Hawk, 12-time world champion skateboarder; Taig Khris, a professional vert skater from Algeria; James Leitz, senior vice president of IMG Worldwide and Chris Sharma, the No. 1 rock climber in the world.
“It was really neat to be on stage with the other guys yesterday,” Langdon said. “To be able to hear their stories about how they got where they are and to hear their versions of what they think about extreme sports was interesting. They all attended Doha Goals for different reasons, so that was interesting, too. “It was a really neat experience to be a part of the whole thing. Doha Goals is a neat program that they’ve put together to help future generations build their lives through sports. They are providing future generations the opportunity to set their goals and dreams, and it was great to be a part of it.
“Qatar reminded me a little of Las Vegas; it’s in the dessert, and the buildings are beautiful and have their own characteristics; everything is first class. It was a great experience all around. It was my first trip outside the United States, and to learn about the Qatari culture and to interact with the Qatari people was a great learning experience. A lot of people in Qatar know about NHRA Drag Racing; we definitely have a following over there. A lot of it is through their racing in Qatar, but they knew everything about the Al-Anabi team. They knew about our championship, and they were very excited for us to win another world championship for them.”
Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the Emir of Qatar, the Doha Goals gathering of all leaders in sport, was founded in January 2012. Each year, global leaders gather in Doha with top stakeholders – CEOs, government officials, athletes, NGOs, federation heads, urban developers, coaches, managers, and medical experts – to create partnerships and initiatives to tackle the most pressing social issues through plenary sessions, debates and focused taskforces that enable constructive brainstorming and focused collaboration.
Doha Goals will conclude by outlining a roadmap of initiatives capable of addressing issues like economic development through sport, the welfare of athletes, federation governance, sport as a tool for education of youth, integration of women and minorities through sport, and cross-culture cooperation. For additional information on the Doha Goals Forum, please visit www.dohagoals.com