Longtime Chief Starter Couch passes away

GLENDORA, Calif. - One of the original members of the NHRA Safety Safari, Hiram Eddie "Buster" Couch, passed away Saturday morning at his home in Georgia. He was 66. For more than 30 years, Couch was a fixture at starting lines throughout the ...

GLENDORA, Calif. - One of the original members of the NHRA Safety Safari, Hiram Eddie "Buster" Couch, passed away Saturday morning at his home in Georgia. He was 66.

For more than 30 years, Couch was a fixture at starting lines throughout the country as he served as NHRA Chief Starter from the early 1960s until his retirement from the important position at the conclusion of the 1995 season.

"Few in the last fifty years epitomized the spirit of NHRA through not only his words, but his actions for his 50-plus years of dedication to the sport of NHRA Drag Racing," said Tom Compton, NHRA president. "I believe I speak for everyone at NHRA when I say he will be truly missed."

From 1964-1978 Couch also worked as NHRA's Southeast Division Director (Division 2) and was instrumental in establishing drag strips and organizing events throughout the region. Couch remained active with NHRA following his retirement, attending many events as a member of the NHRA race control staff.

"Through all the major contributions Buster made to NHRA, and in the past few years where he was a big assistance in race control with his vast knowledge of the sport, I think his greatest gift may have been his humor," said Graham Light, NHRA senior vice president of racing operations. "Buster had a unique knack to make people laugh, but still maintain respect."

Services will be held Wed., Jan. 16, at 2 p.m. at Horis-Ward Funeral Home, Rockdale Chapel, 1999 Highway 138, Conyers, GA 30013; (770) 918-8851.

Condolences may be sent to Mike Couch, 671 Providence Club Drive, Monroe, GA 30656.

-nhra-

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