Funny Car Legend Pat Minick Has Died – Famed Driver Of The Chi-Town Hustler

Funny Car Legend Pat Minick Has Died – Famed Driver Of The Chi-Town Hustler

In what will likely be a continuing theme in 2017, we’re sad to announce the passing of a true drag racing legend. Pat Minick, the original driver of the Chi-Town Hustler and a fine man has passed. Minick was best remembered for his talent behind the wheel of the car engineered by John Farkonas (who passed in 2014) and crew chiefed by Austin Coil. One of the single greatest match racing cars in the history of the sport, the Hustler gained its reputation for both showmanship and performance with Minick behind the wheel.

Most everyone knows the story of the car’s burnouts and how they came to drive both the direction and the vibe of the funny car class for years as fellow racers, not wanting to be completely shown up, joined in the fun of boiling the tires off the backs of their cars.

It wasn’t just the burnouts though. Minick was a talented and smart driver that worked the Chi-Town Hustler down many, many sub-par tracks across the country while keeping the machine in one piece so that the team could maintain its truly incredible match race schedule that often numbered more an 100 appearances a year. It was a ragged life style and one that finally burned Minick out in 1971 when he stepped away from the driver’s seat.

Mince would continue involvement with the Chi-Town Hustler team into the 1980s when the captured back to back NHRA funny car world championships in 1982 and 1983. His was a life lived to the fullest with lots of laughter and smiles. His grandson Mike Minick has developed into a fine funny car driver himself and Pat was very proud of that fact.

Finally, a personal note.

As 2016 was NHRA’s “50 years of the funny car” we had lots of special funny car events around the country. NONE were as bad ass and awesome as the one we had in Chicago. Arnie, Pat, Gary Dyer, Snake and Mongoose. It was a panel Q&A.

To the amazing credit of the Chicago fan base and with respect to Snake and Mongoose, they knew who they wanted to hear from and it was not the guys from California.

Pat Minick and Gary Dyer busted each other’s chops like they were 20 year old racers again. It was a personal highlight of the season and they guys loved the whole session.

We did the track walk with Pat and Gary on Sunday where the fun continued.

The brutal march of time continues but the king of the funny car burnout and a Midwest legend will long be remembered.

Jon Asher has a great piece on Pat Minick here 


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6 thoughts on “Funny Car Legend Pat Minick Has Died – Famed Driver Of The Chi-Town Hustler

  1. Race Car Alex

    Someone, right now needs to get a group together. We need more videos like CPTV’s Storytellers. These stories are disappearing way too fast right now. Go around to everyone who’s still alive. Crew chief’s, drivers, tuners, builders, anybody. Sit with them for a full day and pull out all the best stories from each and every one. We need these stories for this generation, and generations to come. People need to be able to understand what it was like in the early days, aside from what floats around, and what you can get from pictures.

  2. Gary Smrtic

    I read where Coil said Pat stopped driving after Dickie Harrell was killed. Said he just lost his heart for it after that…

  3. Greg Rourke

    The 1968 Charger had the engine offset to the right, and the driver offset to the left. Farkonas said it was just to give Minnick a better view of the track, but one wonders if that’s all it was given the genius of those guys.

  4. Richard

    It was Pat Minicks Mothers garage that the car was kept and worked on in Argo ILL. A few blocks from Gary Dyers shop on 63rd St. The inside of that garage would make a great museum setting for a display. Went there one evening with friend Denny Savage as Austin was flowing the fuel system and groveling about the piston bill with Venolia. Then the phone rang…….

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