NHRA - National Hot Rod Association

Lynsi Snyder-Ellingson, Austin Coil honored by Motorsports Hall of Fame

In-N-Out Burger president Lynsi Snyder-Ellingson and legendary crew chief Austin Coil were recognized by the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America at their annual ceremony in Daytona Beach, Fla.
13 Mar 2024
Posted by NHRA.com staff
Motorsports Hall of Fame

In-N-Out Burger president Lynsi Snyder-Ellingson and legendary crew chief Austin Coil were recognized by the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America at their annual ceremony in Daytona Beach, Fla.

Both individuals have played large parts within the NHRA world, and their contributions to the success and growth of NHRA Drag Racing are well noted.


Snyder-Ellingson, the owner and president of In-N-Out Burger, was the recipient of the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America Bob Russo Heritage Award for her efforts to preserve the future of drag racing in the United States. The Russo award, named in recognition of the longtime motorsports journalist, historian, and former PR director for the NHRA, is presented only by the recommendation of the MSHFA Board of Directors in recognition of the recipient’s contributions to motorsports. Next to induction, it is the highest honor the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America bestows.

Coil, who tuned John Force to 15 of a record 16 NHRA Funny Car championships and more than 130 national event wins, was one of 10 individuals to be inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America’s Class of 2024.

“On behalf of the entire NHRA, I would like to congratulate Lynsi and Austin for their recognitions from the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America,” said NHRA President Glen Cromwell. “Lynsi and her family’s lifelong participation in and love of drag racing has been well documented, from her early grandfather’s involvement with Irwindale Raceway and the personal racing accomplishments of Lynsi and her father, Guy, up through In-N-Out’s support of NHRA Drag Racing through the title-rights naming of In-N-Out Burger Pomona Dragstrip and the In-N-Out Burger NHRA Finals. You also can’t understate Austin’s contributions to John Force’s success and lifting him up to become a 16-time NHRA world champion and a household name in worldwide motorsports. We salute them both as incredible ambassadors for the NHRA and appreciate their contributions to our sport.”

Snyder-Elilingson’s grandparents, Harry and Esther Snyder, founded In-N-Out Burger in 1948, and to this day, the business remains privately owned and family-operated. After beginning at In-N-Out Burger in 1999, Lynsi became owner and president in 2010 and is deeply involved with every aspect of the business.

In-N-Out Burger and the Snyder family have a long history of motorsports support and sponsorship, particularly in drag racing. In the ‘60s and ‘70s, Harry and Esther were part owners of Irwindale Raceway, but one of the most significant and recent contributions came under Lynsi’s leadership with the acquisition of the naming rights for the legendary Pomona Raceway, home since 1961 of the NHRA’s season-opening Winternationals, which was renamed at the beginning of this year the In-N-Out Burger Pomona Dragstrip. The new partnership, which includes the naming rights to NHRA’s season-ending race in Pomona, the recently completed In-N-Out Burger NHRA Finals, ensures the series will visit In-N-Out Burger Pomona Dragstrip through at least 2033. A racer herself, Lynsi competes in the NHRA Top Sportsman class in a '69 Chevy-Hemi-powered Chevelle. 

"It is such an honor to have my family’s contributions to the sport of drag racing recognized by the MSHFA," she said. "Motorsports have always been a huge part of In-N-Out’s culture and history beginning with my grandparent’s part ownership of Irwindale Raceway. My dad’s love of drag racing is the reason we celebrated his life at the Pomona Dragstrip in 1999 and what inspired me to begin racing one year later at the age of 18. 
"As the current owner and president of In-N-Out Burger, I have worked hard to continue the commitment to the sport of drag racing. In-N-Out has sponsored various teams and drivers throughout the years and is the proud current owner of naming rights to the Pomona Dragstrip, which is where we celebrated our 75th anniversary in October 2023. I also continue to race in the Top Sportsman category with my own team, Flying Dutchman Racing. Needless to say, to have my family listed among the many greats within motorsports who have received the Bob Russo Award is beyond special and a great testament to my family’s legacy."

After leading Frank Hawley to two NHRA Funny Car championships in the “Chi-Town Hustler” in 1982 and 1983, Coil joined forces with the up-and-coming Force. And for more than three decades, they became the most dominant driver-crew chief combination in drag racing history.

“It’s a real honor,” Coil said of his induction. “I really was surprised when I came to find out that I had gotten this award, and I’m just tickled pink. It takes a lot of people to make a car win a lot. The driver is important and the crew chief is important, but everybody is important.

“My co-crew chief throughout most of these wins was Bernie Fedderly, and he seems to get so little credit. It’s a terrible shame because I guarantee if it wasn’t for Bernie’s help, a lot of those win lights wouldn’t have come on. … And there also was our car chief through most of those wins, Dean Antonelli.”

While it was Force’s talent behind the wheel that led to the team’s wins and titles, it was Coil’s talent under the hood that laid the foundation for Force’s success.

“He taught me so much not just about driving a car, but also about business,” Force said of Coil. “He rode in the truck with me in the early days. There were times when I couldn't make payroll, he didn't have any money either. But he’d help me make payroll to keep the team going. He was a special individual.”

Unfortunately, the now 78-year-old Coil was unable to attend the induction in person (he has sent along a taped interview that will be played), but Force humbly accepted the honor on behalf of his longtime friend.

“You know, they talk about the GOAT [Greatest of All Time]. Coil is the real GOAT to me, and that's what I'm going to say when I get up there,” Force said. “If anyone deserves to be called GOAT, it ain't me, it's him. He made John Force. I was there all along, I get all the credit, but it was his magic.

“Coil was someone who made me believe. You only build that with trust in time. They may try to call me the GOAT, but if that's true, Austin Coil is the guy who created the GOAT.”

Coil was inducted alongside six-time IndyCar champion Scott Dixon (Open Wheel); seven-time NASCAR Cup champion Jimmie Johnson (Stock Cars); late actor, IndyCar team co-owner and amateur racer Paul Newman (At Large); Jim Downing and Dr. Robert Hubbard (Technology); Bud Ekins (Motorcycles); John Surtees (Sports Cars); and Earl B. Gilmore and Phil Walters, both in the Historic category.