Crew chief, tuner, mentor, race engineer
NHRA announcer Brian Lohnes calls him “Toby-Wan Kenobi” for his Jedi-like mastery of the sport. Tobler is one of only three NHRA crew chiefs to win championships in both Top Fuel and Funny Car, capturing 65 races and counting across both disciplines. Between 1980 and ’82, Tobler led inductee and ex-wife Shirley Muldowney to two NHRA and one AHRA Top Fuel titles and was part of her 1977 NHRA championship team. More recently, Tobler led Cruz Pedregon to the NHRA 2008 Funny Car championship, and Ron Capps to the 2016 title as part of Don Schumacher Racing. Possibly the greatest testament to Tobler’s impact are the many assistants who have gone on to great achievements on their own, including former-assistants-turned-crew-chiefs Dickie Venables, Eric Lane and John Collins. “Somebody told me the smartest thing you can do as a crew chief is to surround yourself with people smarter than you,” Tobler modestly told CompetitionPlus.com. Many who have worked with and for Tobler would tell you he’s the smartest guy at any dragstrip.