Dave Mcclelland
Photo: Speed Sport archive

Legendary NHRA Announcer McClelland Dies

Dave McClelland, the voice of NHRA drag racing for 44, years has died.

McClelland’s death was confirmed on social media by his son, Mike, on Sunday afternoon.

McClelland, a television broadcaster by trade, called his first drag race in 1959. Two years later, he was a full-time member of NHRA’s national event announcing team.

He was a fixture on the mic at NHRA national events and for many years on television coverage of the NHRA Drag Racing Series. McClelland appeared on television coverage of drag racing on The Nashville Network, ESPN, Speed Channel and The Outdoor Channel.

McClelland retired from the NHRA in 2003.

McClelland was first involved in drag racing in 1955 and drag raced himself for a time. He was also a track operator and founded the popular Super Chevy Shows.

McClelland worked as NHRA Public Relations and publicity director for seven years. Before he joined NHRA, he served as the track manager for Southland Dragway in Houma, La., and as general manager of Dallas Int’l Motor Speedway.

In 1994, McClelland received The Ollie Award at the All-Star Drag Racing Team ceremony and he was recognized with the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame’s Founders Award in 2005. Known as “Big Mac” in drag racing circles, he was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 2016.

He also received the SEMA Industry Icon Award among many other honors.

According to the McClelland family’s social media statement, there will be no public services, but a celebration of life is being planned. In lieu of flowers, the family requests mourners to consider a donation to Racers for Christ or the Drag Racing Association of Women.

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