Jerry Arnold *

Inducted into the Michigan Motor Sports Hall of Fame in 1998


ArnoldJerry72(1943 – 2016)

Jerry Arnold is a drag racing champion who doesn’t let grass grow under his feet. He likes to win and move on, continually challenging himself to research, experiment, design, engineer, build and drive in a manner that exemplifies his passion for drag racing.

As a driver of gassers, altereds, dragsters, stock eliminators, modified eliminators, and competition eliminators, Jerry has set many national speed records and won hundreds of races and racing awards. He has designed, built and improved his own cars and served as a consultant to other racers. One of his cars has appeared on the cover of the NHRA Rule Book and was featured in two other racing magazines. Jerry has managed all this in addition to marrying and raising a family and running his own National famous cylinder head porting business.

ArnoldJerryRail72Jerry has set 19 new NHRA National ET and MPH records, won 14 NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series Division races, been a three-time 1/8 mile National Open Competition Champion and received 20 NHRA Low Qualifier awards. His racing peers have voted him Mechanic of the Year four times as well as Driver of the Year, and the NHRA track managers and events staff awarded his car the Best Engineered Car. Jerry has been also a four-time NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series Division Champion in Competition Eliminator, TRW Sportsmen All Stars Race Division #3 Competition Representative and NHRA Winston Drag Racing Competition Runner-Up. A crowning achievement was when Jerry was the Competition Eliminator Winner in the Federal Mogul Championship Allstar race.

Jerry’s first taste of drag racing began a couple of years before he graduated from Kalamazoo Christian High School in his hometown of Kalamazoo, Michigan. A relative took him to race at Stanton in 1959, and from that time on, drag racing was his passion. He raced his first car, a 1953 Oldsmobile Super 88, at Stanton in 1961. Since then, Jerry’s love for racing has taken him to races throughout the U.S., including Virginia, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Wisconsin, Iowa, Kansas, Florida, Minnesota, and Georgia as well as out of the country to Quebec, Canada.

Jerry Arnold died on March 3, 2016 of accidental injuries at his home.

  • 1973,1974,1975,1976 – U.S. 131 Martin Dragway Track Champion
  • 1976 – U.S. 131 Martin Dragway Modified Eliminator and Winner, all but two races Little Guy National Open Winner – Suffolk, VA
  • 1978 – U.S. Nationals – Indianpolis – A/Super Modified Winner
  • 1979 to present –
    • 19 NHRA National ET/MPH records

    • 3 – 1/8 mile National Open Competition Championships

    • 14 NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series Division wins

    • 20 NHRA Low Qualifier awards

  • 1989 – Car featured in June issue of SuperStock Magazine
  • 1990 – Driver of the Year Best Engineered Car of the Year for E/Econo Altered
  • 1990, 1991, 1992, 1996 – NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series Division #3 Champion Competition Eliminator class
  • 1991, 1993, 1996, 1997 – TRW Sportsman All Stars Race Division #3 competition Representative / Mechanic of the Year
  • 1992 – Car featured in February issue of Super Ford Magazine
  • 1994 – Car featured on cover of NHRA Rule Book
  • 1995 – NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series Runner up
  • 1996 – Federal Mogul Championship Allstars Competition Eliminator Winner