Keith Ferrell, who served as NHRA’s Division 3 Director for six years in the 1980s, died Oct., 19 of congestive heart failure. He was 75.
Ferrell, who succeeded original Division 3 Director Bob Daniels at the helm of the division in 1980, was a former NHRA national record holder and engine builder before hanging up his helmet in 1977 and taking a series of operational positions at dragstrips around his Fairborn, Ohio, home.
Ferrell served as Competition Director at Edgewater Raceway Park in Cincinnati, then Tech Director at Kil-Kare Raceway in Xenia, Ohio, where also taught auto mechanics at Greene Vocation school. Before joining NHRA, he served for two years as track manager at Kil-Kare, during which time he also was a valuable member of the Division 3 Bracket Steering Committee, where he developed relationships with the track operators with whom he would later work as Division Director.
Ferrell left NHRA after the 1986 season and was replaced by current Division 3 Director Jay Hullinger, who is the longest tenured of the current seven directors.
Ferrell is survived by his wife, Virginia, son Tim, and daughter Teri. He is predeceased by daughter Tammy Oberhofer, wife of current NHRA Top Fuel crew chief Jim Oberhofer.
Fans and racers are welcome to enjoy a special night for a special cause as the Drag Racing Association of Women hosts its annual auction Saturday, Oct.17, at Texas Motorplex during the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals
Numerous highly sought after collectible items will be auctioned off to help provide assistance to drivers and crew members injured in a drag racing accident at a track. Bob Frey, with the assistance of Alan Reinhart, will be offering these items up for bids.
The live auction, which begins at 7:30 p.m., will be held inside the Champion Club which is located next to the staging lanes.
Several of the biggest stars in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series regularly attend and bidding wars provide as much entertainment as their contributions provide help for fellow racers.
The list of auction items range from artwork to collectables to racing parts and accessories is available on www.drawonline.org.
For more information or to donate an item, contact Rosalee Noble, firstname.lastname@example.org, 217-345-6537.
Courtesy Thomas Pope, Fayetteville Observer
Buddy Martin, along with his late former driver Ronnie Sox, is to be inducted into the North Carolina Auto Racing Hall of Fame in Mooresville Oct. 6. They are the first drag racers to be enshrined in the hall dominated by NASCAR racers.
Former NASCAR Cup driver Donnie Allison, whose older brother Bobby was the hall’s second inductee in 1998, also will be inducted this year.
The Sox & Martin cars were among the most successful in drag racing in the 1960s and ’70s. Based in Burlington, N.C., the team — with Martin as the manager, Sox as the driver, and Jake King as the crew chief — won five national championships. In 1970, Sox captured four of the six NHRA national events, and he won six of eight NHRA meets the following year.
Their early success was in the Super Stock ranks, where Sox’s skill earned him the nickname “Mr. 4-Speed.” He and Martin were pioneers who helped convince NHRA to form the Pro Stock class in 1970.
“This is a pretty big honor for us because we’re the first drag racers” in the Mooresville hall, Martin, 79, said Tuesday. “We’ve been very, very blessed. ...
“I just wish Ronnie and Jake could be here to see and enjoy this. I’m appreciating the recognition every day and the fact that people remember us.”
Sox, who was No. 15 on NHRA’s all-time top 50 drivers lists, died in 2006 after a long bout with cancer. King died in 1995, Martin said.
The Sox & Martin team has also been inducted into the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame in Ocala, Florida, and the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America near Detroit, which is relocating to Daytona International Speedway.
N.C. Auto Racing Hall of Fame inductees
1997 — Richard Petty
1998 — Bobby Allison
1999 — Tim Flock
2000 — Junior Johnson, Bill France Sr.
2001 — Ned Jarrett
2002 — Cale Yarborough
2003 — Ralph Moody Jr.
2004 — Dale Earnhardt
2005 — David Pearson
2006 — Darrell Waltrip
2007 — Buddy Baker
2008 — Benny Parsons
2009 — A.J. Foyt
2011 — Rusty Wallace
2012 — Glenn “Fireball” Roberts, Fred Lorenzen
2014 — Lee Petty, Harry Gant
2015 — Sox & Martin, Donnie Allison
Hubert Platt, an early NHRA star in the Super Stock and Factory Experimental classes, died Sept. 26 of cancer. He was 83.
After campaigning a series of Chevy-powered gassers, he switched to Super Stock in 1962 and was a teammate of “Dyno Don” Nicholson, who ran out of the Nalley Chevrolet dealership. When Chevy pulled out of racing in 1963, Platt moved to Ford. He followed his Georgia Shaker 427-cid Fairlane Thunderbolt with a series of altered-wheelbase entries, including his famed wheelstanding 427-cid Falcon.
Few racers could match Platt’s acumen for showmanship. One night in 1966 after wiping out the front ends of his Falcon and extended-wheelbase Mustang at Lions Dragstrip, Platt got on the P.A. and told the crowd, “Ladies and gentlemen, I broke both of my race cars just for you. If I had a third one, I’d have broken that one, too!”
A series of tube-framed, fiberglass-bodied Mustang Funny Cars produced numerous wins and record performances, and he returned to Super Stock competition when he conducted the popular Eastern Ford Performance Clinics.
Platt switched in 1970 to Pro Stock, in which he competed until his retirement from racing in 1977. He is a member of several drag racing halls of fame and has served as grand marshal at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals presented by Pontiac in Atlanta.
Platt has received numerous honors including induction into the NHRA Division 2 Hall of Fame and the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame. He was an honoree at NHRA’s National Hot Rod Reunion in 2006. recipient of the NHRA’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
Platt is survived by his wife, Linda, and his children, Hubert Jr., Allen and Lynette.