INDIANAPOLIS – Veteran NHRA Funny Car competitor Paul Lee has retired from competition after suffering a heart attack during the winter months.
On Dec. 13, two days after the PRI Trade Show in Indianapolis, he suffered a “widow maker” heart attack, with 100% blockage of the left anterior descending (LAD) artery. Doctors inserted three stints in his main artery, but Lee still suffered significant heart damage as a result of the heart attack.
“I’m very lucky to be alive,” said Lee, owner of McLeod Racing. “The paramedics are close to my house and were there in minutes. They got me to the hospital in time for the doctors to save my life. The doctor told me that this is the worst kind of heart attack someone can have and only about 1 in 10 survives. So I’m extremely grateful to the local paramedics and the doctors for doing a great job of saving me.”
Lee’s racing operation, which is managed by Kalitta Motorsports, will be entered in some races this year to fulfill previous sponsor commitments. A driver will be announced at a later date. As for co-crew chiefs Glen Huszar and Nick Casertano, they will continue their efforts to help the Funny Car teams of J.R. Todd and Alexis DeJoria.
Lee will continue to support the Kalitta Motorsports organization for the years to come. He will also continue to own and operate McLeod Racing.
“Nevertheless, I’ve made many friends in this sport, both in my Alcohol Funny Car days in Division 1, up to my friends in the professional ranks, and especially all the folks at Team Kalitta. I’d like to personally thank Connie Kalitta and Jim Oberhofer and the whole Kalitta organization for welcoming me into their family. I will be forever grateful.”