NHRA Champion Dick LaHaie, 76


INDIANAPOLIS – Dick LaHaie, a former NHRA Top Fuel champion driver and veteran crew chief, died Tuesday. He was 76 years old.

LaHaie started his lengthy career in drag racing as a driver in 1959. In 1980 he earned his first NHRA National event victory and by 1987 he reached the pinnacle of the sport by capturing the NHRA Top Fuel championship while driving for Larry Minor.

In 1991 LaHaie retired as a driver and shortly thereafter began his career as a crew chief in 1993 at Kalitta Motorsports. Paired with Scott Kalitta, the duo won the 1994 and ’95 Top Fuel championships.

LaHaie later joined Don Prudhomme Racing to wrench on the Top Fuel dragster driven by Larry Dixon. The duo collected two championships – in 2001 and ’02 – before LaHaie decided to retire as a crew chief.