Eddie Hill, Biography


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 thecountry and around the world in 1999. Hill's life-long pursuit of being the fastest manalive once again finds him behind the wheel of his instantly recognizable Pennzoil IMatco Tools Top Fuel Dragster competing in the National Hot Rod Association. Despite top speeds in excess of 325 mph and quarter-mile elapsed times of 4.5seconds, the feisty Hill remains ever-anxious to prove once again that he has what ittakes to be on top of the very sport he helped build.

Hill first felt the competitive urge of racing as a young boy in Texas when he wouldmatch his Shetland pony "Peanut" against a passing school bus each day. By age 11,Hill garnered the first championship of his life when he captured the 1947 Tn-State FlatTrack Motor Scooter title in Shreveport, La. A few years later, he moved on to cars and won the first drag racing event he ever entered with a Top Eliminator car he builthimself and actually drove to and from the track.

The move to the professional ranks of the fledgling NHRA circuit was inevitable and a young Hill was finally baptized as a pro when he lined up and raced against JackChrisman's "Sidewinder" in 1959 at a racetrack in Inyokern, Calif. Since that date withdestiny Hill has literally done it all in the world of drag racing, both on land and in thewater. 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 heat the rubber surface and improve traction.

The record books show Hill to be the first driver to cover the quarter-mile strip in lessthan five seconds, a feat he accomplished with a 4.990-second pass on April 9,1988,in Ennis, Texas. He was also the first driver to break the 200-mph barrier in a gas-powered car when he reached 202.07 mph in 1962 at a small track in Hobbs, N.M.

Over the course of his career, Hill also proved to be one of the best drag boat racers of all time. His most notable accomplishment as a boat captain occurred in 1983 when hecovered the quarter-mile track of Phoenix's Firebird Lake in 5.16 seconds. The featmarked the first time in history that the world's quickest quarter-mile time was recordedon water rather than asphalt. Hill went on to set records in all four sanctioning bodies ofdrag boat racing and collected five world championships along the way. He was alsonoted in the Guinness Book of World Records in 1984 and 1985 for recording thefastest speed and quickest elapsed time ever in a propeller-driven boat.