With great sadness, NHRA reported today that Mark Lyle, NHRA’s Chief Starter, passed away unexpectedly Sunday, March 27. On behalf of NHRA and the entire drag racing community, we offer our condolences to all of Lyle’s family and friends.
Lyle had been Chief Starter for the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series since 2012. He was only the third Chief Starter in NHRA history, along with the late Buster Couch (1955-1996) and Rick Stewart (1996-2011).
Before becoming the pro series Chief Starter, Lyle was the official starter at Pacific Raceways in NHRA’s Northwest Division since 2000. He was named the official starter of the Northwest Division in 2005.
Division 6 starter Mike Gittings has been named the interim NHRA Chief Starter for this weekend’s DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals at Las Vegas.
Mark Lyle died yesterday on his birthday while vacationing in Mexico with family and friends. He went died as a hero as he was helping a friend who was sruggling in the water before he was lost.