The world of American drag racing lost one of its most famous voices on Sunday with the passing of famed announcer Dave McClelland. He was 85 years old.
McClelland was the voice of the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) for the better part of three decades in the 1970s, 80s and 90s. His distinct voice marked him as one of the most memorable personalities in the sport at the height of its popularity.
"We are saddened to share the news of the passing of The Voice of the NHRA, Dave McClelland," the NHRA said in a tweet. "Our hearts are with his family and friends during this difficult time."
Though McClelland rose to national prominence during the 1970s, his career in broadcasting the sport dates all the way back to the 1950s.
Dave McClelland attended Central Missouri State College and got his first broadcasting job as a cameraman at a TV station in Little Rock, Arkansas.
McClelland parlayed that into a radio job in Shreveport, Louisiana, where he worked until 1969. But during his time as a radio announcer, he also found time to work as an announcer on NHRA racing.
He announced his first race locally in 1959 but got to call the NHRA Nationals in 1961.
In 1973, McClelland was brought on as the NHRA's on-camera, play-by-play host for numerous events. The rest is history.
McClelland would work with the company for 44 years.
Our hearts go out to Dave McClelland's family and loved ones.