Recently voted as one of the most popular drivers in the history of motorsports, 63-year-old drag racing legend Eddie Hill continues to thrill his adoring fans throughout the country and around the world in 1999. Hill's life-long pursuit of being the fastest and quickest man alive once again finds him behind the wheel of his instantly recognizable Pennzoil / Matco Tools Top Fuel Dragster, competing in the National Hot Rod Association.
Hill, with his wife Ercie faithfully at his side, has literally done it all in the world of drag racing, both on land and in the water. He is credited with introducing small-profile front tires and aerodynamic front wings to dragsters, charcoal-filled breathing masks for safety, and the practice of smoking the rear tires prior to a run to improve traction.
The most notable of Hill's many entries into drag racing's record books include recording the sport's first four-second pass, a 4.990-second blast in April of 1988; being the oldest driver to win an NHRA Top Fuel Championship, at age 57 (1993); and being the oldest driver to win an NHRA national event, at age 60 (Denver, 1996.)
Over the course of his career, Hill also proved to be one of the best drag boat racers of all time. His biggest accomplishment occurred in 1983 when he covered the quarter-mile track of Phoenix's Firebird Lake in 5.16 seconds. The feat marked the first time in history that the world's quickest quarter-mile time was recorded on water rather than asphalt. Hill went on to capture five world championships in his famous Texan boat.
Most fans and historians agree that Hill's place in the annals of racing history is already secure. He was admitted to the NHRA Hall of Fame in 1978 and has been named Driver of the Year by every major drag racing organization and publication in the world.
Still, despite all of his accomplishments, the feisty Hill remains committed to winning, a fact made perfectly clear by his stated objective for the 1999 season. It's the same goal he's had for 50-plus years: to be the fastest and quickest man alive.
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Born: March 6, 1936 in Longview, TX
Resides: Wichita Falls, TX
Family: Wife, Ercie, children, Sabrina and Dustin
Weight: 160 lbs.