- Written by webmin
Almost unnoticed, a really good guy and good racer passed away last week. Shirl Greer was a Georgia native, a true Southern drag stud, who improbably became the NHRA’s Funny Car national champion in 1974 under some wild circumstances. Greer had been in ill health, and passed away at a hospital in Johnson City, Tennessee. The photo of him as a new titleist comes from the NHRA archives.
Greer won his sole national-level season title over Don Prudhomme, which is saying a lot. The point chase went down to the season’s final event at Ontario Motor Speedway in California. Greer rode out a tremendous fireball in qualifying that burned his car to the ground. Other crews, including Prudhomme’s, pitched in to rebuild the car. Wearing a firesuit and helmet borrowed from Al Hanna – his own were incinerated – Greer went enough rounds to win the Funny Car crown. After he died last week, Greer’s sons took his restored Chained Lightning to Bristol, in the middle of the NASCAR weekend, for a touching memorial cackle. The Bristol Herald Courier has an article and video on the Greer family’s tribute to Shirl.