OCALA, Fla. – The International Drag Racing Hall of Fame (IDRHOF), housed at the Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing, has revealed its inductee class of 2015.
This group has a particular significance, as they mark the 25th anniversary of honoring significant individuals who contributed to the sport during their careers.
The induction ceremony will take place in Gainesville, Fla., at the Paramount Plaza Hotel & Suites on March 12, 2015, immediately preceding the NHRA Amalie Motor Oil Gatornationals. Bob Frey, the retired NHRA event announcer, will serve as the evening’s Master of Ceremonies.
The 2015 class of inductees is composed of a pair of Pro Stock legends, a colorfully successful Top Gas driver, two southeastern U.S. Funny Car drivers, a legendary crew chief, and one of the legendary names of the Modified sportsman class.
Lee Edwards (Calverton, Va.) – Lee (“The General”) Edwards was one of the most consistent IHRA (International Hot Rod Ass’n) Pro Stock racers of the fabled Mountain Motor era. He won IHRA World Championships in 1977 and 1978 by huge margins.
Shirl Greer (Kingsport, Tenn. – 1935-2010) – The late Shirl Greer, was for much of his racing career, a very popular and competitive funny car racer in the NHRA’s (National Hot Rod Ass’n) Southeast Division (Division 3). He rose to prominence by capturing the NHRA Funny Car World Champion in 1974 in a most unlikely manner, defeating the legendary Don Prudhomme in a dramatic final race of the season in Ontario, Calif.
Jerry Gwynn (Davie, Fla.) – Jerry Gywnn drove the famed “Baby Huey” AA/Altered blown Chevy/23 Ford to the NHRA’s Super Eliminator World Championship in 1969, sweeping the board on his way to the title. He took the “Baby Huey” name to the Alcohol Funny Car class, and then became crew chief for his son, Darrell. Jerry joins Darrell in the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame, becoming the first father-son honorees.
Butch Leal (Tulare, Calif.) – Butch Leal (“The California Flash”) was one of the “guys to beat” in the Super Stock, Modified or Pro Stock class when his hauler drove through the pit gate. Leal’s notoriety began in the Super Stock class in 1964, finishing runner-up at the NHRA Winternationals, then winning the U.S. Nationals, the sport’s premier events. He became the NHRA Super Stock World Champion in 1965. In the 1970s, Butch raced the Super Stock, Modified, and Pro Stock classes with great success, always in the thick of championship battles.