Bobby Lagana Sr., center, with sons Bobby Jr., left, and Dominick
Bobby Lagana Sr., a veteran of more than 50 years of racing who passed along his love of nitromethane to sons Bobby Jr. and Dominick, died Sept. 5 after a long illness. He was 72.
Lagana began racing in the nitro ranks in the early 1970s with a series of cars called the American Challenge. As the class advanced in technology, he kept his cars current and ran as many events as he could. In the early 1980s, Lagana changed the name of his cars to Twilight Zone and earned a strong following of fans on the East Coast as he battled the tour veterans at every turn on both the NHRA and IHRA trails.
When IHRA dropped its Funny Car class in the 1990s, Lagana switched to a Top Fuel dragster, and later that decade, his oldest son, Bobby Jr., took over the reins of the family Top Fuel car. His youngest son, Dom, licensed in the car in 2007. In 2010, Bobby Jr. finished at the top of the IHRA Top Fuel points, and the brothers continued to share driving duties.
Lagana lost his first daughter, Dinah, at 10 years old; he then had four more kids with wife Marie and raised them in Dinah’s honor. Bobby and Marie made sure their kids wanted for nothing and lived for everything. Marie passed away in 2000 after a short battle with cancer. Through all the good times and bad times, Lagana enjoyed life to the fullest and has four great kids to live in his honor.
Lagana remained extremely active in his sons' drag racing careers, bringing a wealth of knowledge and experience to the family team.
In lieu of flowers, the Lagana family asks that support of a charity close to Lagana's heart be remembered: DRAW (drawfasthelp.org). Lagana knew firsthand the power of DRAW and never forgot the assistance his family received from the organization.
Tuesday, Sept. 10
2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m.
Westchester Funeral Home
190 Main St.
Eastchester, NY 10709
Immaculate Conception Church
Wednesday, Sept.11, 9:30 a.m.
Immaculate Conception is across the street from the funeral home. A burial will follow. A gathering will be held at Lagana’s garage after the funeral to throw around the nitro bull.