Terry Luechtefeld 1944-2009
Terry started drag racing in 1977,
driving a 39 Chevy Sedan. The following year he raced a 1966 Chevelle Malibu with a 383 tunnel ram
with 2 4's and a 4 speed. The next year he changed it to a BBC with a automatic. Just like all racers,
he had to keep tinkering with it and make it faster. He raced at Motion, Havana, Benton, Coles and
Indy for the Super Chevy shows. Drag Racing was his life.
While racing at Coles, he got acquainted with Bill Fuqua and several of the racers and their
families. It was so much fun, lots of team spirit and great memories. It was an automatic move
for Terry to get into working at the track and became the starter. He loved working at the track and
was known for always being in control of the starting line and fair calls. Terry was also a NHRA Tech
Inspector and was a member of NHRA for 25 years. He was devoted to racing, race tracks and racers as
he fixed many cars behind the scene. Terry was well respected within the racing community and was
asked to work the starting line at NHRA National events in St Louis & Indianapolis, many Super Chevy Shows
and NHRA Division 3 Bracket Finals.
From the onset of Jr Dragster, Terry was a proponent and very excited to see the kids
progress from sitting in the stands to being behind the wheel of their own hot rod. He was
instrumental in getting JEGS as a sponsor for the Jr's and hoped they'd all become future racers.
Terry and Tie started the T-shirts for the Bracket Finals and got sponsors for pizza nights.
He was a good friend of Buster Couch, "Big Daddy" Don Garlits, Arnie "The Farmer" Beswick,
Tim Wilkerson, John Force, Roy Trovinio and Bill Golden.
Terry had a big heart and would've helped anyone. He loved his family, especially the
grandchildren. His oldest, Dayne learned everything about drag racing from him.
He felt the drag strip was truly a family affair. He helped make the "T-shirt" quilt
that were raffled off and funds collected is what started the Thanksgiving Baskets for Coles County Needy
and continues today.
Terry was a Veteran who served in Germany 1962 to 1964 as a mechanic. He worked for
the City of Decatur for 34 years as a mechanic and heavy equipment operator. He served terms as
President of ACSME 268 and was married for 24 years.
Terry life was cut short and is missed by many. Even at Terry passing he was
memorialized with a Drag Race Funeral that has continued with the "Terry Luechtefeld Memorial Race" which is
held in conjunction with the "Motion Raceway Reunion" and Tie feels he's very proud of. In fact as Tie
say's "she knows he's watching, cause there are holes in the floor of heaven.