Former Funny Car Driver Lane DiesFriday, January 03, 2014
Posted by: NHRA.com staff
Chris Lane, who drove the Arizona-based Phoenix and Desert Rat Funny Cars in the 1970s and 1980s, died on Dec. 25 after a lengthy battle with cancer. He was 64.

The Tempe, Ariz., resident drove the Phoenix Funny Car that he co-owned with Joe Pierce in the early 1970s. They debuted a Barracuda-bodied entry in 1974 and built a Camaro in 1976 that they took to Australia and New Zealand in late 1977 along with other U.S. teams to race the best the Aussie and Kiwi teams had to offer. Upon his return the U.S., they sold the race car, and lane had a brief stint driving the Powers Steel Funny Car.

Lane also had a few fuel altered and a stint in Joe McKee’s Top Fuel dragster. From 1985 to 1989, he was the pilot of Ron and Val Sutherland’s Desert Rat with which he upset R.C. Sherman and Mark Oswald at the 1989 Winternationals en route to a semifinal finish.

In addition to driving, Lane was involved on the mechanical side as well. Following his five-year tenure driving the Desert Rat, he worked with Jimmy Stewart and Dave Settles on Chris Karamesines’ Top Fueler and with Jim Murphy on his Holy Smokes Funny Car.