Few have made a bigger contribution to drag racing than the “Father of the Hemi.” Hoover joined Chrysler in 1955 with a master’s in physics from Penn State and became a founding member of the Ramchargers. In 1962, he helped develop the 426 Max Wedges used in some of the first true muscle cars. The following year, as head of Chrysler’s Race Engine Group, he developed a motor that would win the 1964 Daytona 500. The 426 Hemi annihilated the competition in that event and dominated circle tracks and drag strips for years. The basic design is still used in Top Fuel and Funny Cars today. Later Hoover directed over 40 Chrysler teams, including Sox & Martin, the Ramchargers and Dick Landy, and helped bring the AAR ‘Cuda and Dodge Li’l Red Express into being. He received the Ollie Award, recognizing career-long contributions to drag racing, from the Car Craft Magazine All-Star Drag Racing Team in 1979 and was inducted into the Super Stock Magazine Drag Racing Hall of Fame in 1996.