Austin Coil, the winningest crew chief in NHRA Drag Racing history, leads an all-star cast of 2024 inductees into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America.
Coil directed 2008 inductee John Force to 15 NHRA Funny Car world championships, including 10 in a row, and 17 overall, including two won back-to-back captaining Frank Hawley and the Chi-Town Hustler (1982-83). Coil, engineering mentor John Farkonas, and driver Pat Minick made The Hustler one of the dominant match racers of the late ‘60s and 1970s. Coil joined a then-struggling Force to become one of the most successful driver/crew chief pairings ever. In addition to 15 titles, they won 130-plus tour victories. Coil was named Car Craft Magazine Funny Car Crew Chief of the Year 12 times and was inducted into the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame in 1997.
Joining Coil in the Class of 2024 are six-time IndyCar series champion Scott Dixon (Open Wheel), HANS Device inventors Jim Downing and Dr. Robert Hubbard (Technology), desert racing legend and Hollywood stuntman Bud Ekins (Motorcycles), seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson (Stock Cars), four-time SCCA national champion and eight-time IndyCar title-winning owner Paul Newman (At Large), and 1966 Can-Am champion and championship-winning constructor John Surtees (Sports Cars).
“It’s hard to imagine a much more accomplished group of racers,” said MSHFA president George Levy. “Our voters chose these seven from an incredible array of the sport’s greatest achievers. We can’t wait to welcome them into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America next March.”
Each of the MSHFA’s inductees is elected by a straight vote of 200 motorsports experts — half of them inductees themselves.
The 36th Motorsports Hall of Fame of America Induction Celebration presented by Toyota Racing, which will formally usher the Class of 2024 into the MSHFA, will be held in the Hall’s home in Daytona Beach, Fla., in March of 2024.