Crew chief, tuner, innovator
He’s simply the winningest Top Fuel Funny Car crew chief of all time. Coil directed inductee John Force to 15 NHRA Funny Car titles — 10 of them in a row — and 17 overall when you include two he won back-to-back captaining Frank Hawley and the Chi-Town Hustler (1982-83). Coil, engineering mentor John Farkonas and driver Pat Minick made The Hustler one of the dominant match racing machines of the late ‘60s and 1970s. When sponsorship dried up in the mid-‘80s, Coil joined Force for one of the most successful driver/crew chief pairings ever. Few remember now, but at the time Force was struggling. In addition to 15 titles, they won 130+ tour victories. An emotional Force said when Coil received a 2019 NHRA Lifetime Achievement Award, “You summed it up best, Snake,” referring to inductee Prudhomme. “You always said I wasn’t shit without Austin Coil.” Coil was named Car Craft Magazine Funny Car Crew Chief of the Year 12 times and inducted into the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame in 1997.