Veteran Funny Car owner Dale Creasy Sr., has passed away, on Dec. 29, at the age of 81.

Creasy, who died Dec. 29 at age 81, fielded a long line of Illinois-based Tyrant Funny Cars stretching back to the early 1970s, and his legacy continues today with son Dale Jr., who is still competing in the class.

Creasy’s cars, predominately Fords, were wheeled in the 1970s through the 1990s by drivers such as Al Marshall, Dick Bourgeois, Larry LaDue, and, most famously by Gary Bolger, and were staples of the Midwest match racing scene and the Coca-Cola Cavalcade of Stars circuit. (Bolger, who had his own car, the Gold Digger, was first recruited to drive for

Creasy at one Coke Cavalcade event when Bourgeois, who drove not only for Creasy but also the Doug Thorley’s Doug’s Headers Vega, reached the final in both cars. Bolger took over the Creasy car, and while no one remembers who won the final, it was the start of a long-lasting partnership.

Marshall won the Division 3 championship in 1971 and ’72 and finished second in NHRA’s Eastern Conference standings in 1972 and was runner-up behind Don Schumacher at the 1972 NHRA Le Grandnational.

Bolger stepped aside in 1997 to let Creasy Jr. take over the wheel, and father and son raced together until about 2005 when a tuning disagreement led them to go separate paths. Dad was from the old school, eschewing data recorders and preferring to tune by bearings and plugs while Jr. embraced the new technology. Sr. went on to field his own car with a new lineup of drivers, including John Lawson, Justin Schriefer, and others.

Creasy Jr. remembers spending summers on the road in the 1970s and ’80s with his dad and the Tyrant cars, running as far away from home as California and Canada, and sometimes running two to three times a week.

“Those were fun days,” he remembers. “His cars always ran strong, and we had some good driver