By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
An official cause of death has not been announced yet. The press release says that Lane was hit by a vehicle while walking back from a restaurant on Monday night near Mineral Wells, Texas.
“Eric was energetic and shared the same enthusiasm for the sport as I do. He was known for his skill in working with NHRA teams but even more so for his upbeat personality and bringing smiles to everyone on the team and those who stopped by the pit,” Snap-on Dodge® Funny Car pilot Cruz Pedregon said. “He joined the team officially for the 2020 season but worked with us for three races at the end of last season. He worked closely with his best friend and our co-crew chief Nick Casertano and previously with many of the top names in the business. The sport has lost one of its very best.
“We were just coming into our own, Eric, Nick, and I, in turning the car around, and his contributions will be a big part of our success moving forward. I’m so proud of Nick, who is set on doing the right thing for his best friend, for Eric’s family, and for the team. We’re still taking it all in, but as a tight-knit group we will be getting together and do what we know Eric would want us to do and that’s focus on the race ahead in Houston.”
The Weatherford Democrat is reporting that Lane was lying on U.S. 180 in Mineral Wells when he was struck and killed. The incident happened at approx. 11:40 pm local time.
No other information has been provided at this time.
“Preliminary investigation indicates a 2018 Chevrolet Cruz, driven by 43-year-old Candy L. Lister of Mineral Wells, was traveling west on U.S. 180,” according to DPS Sgt. Richard Hunter. “For an undetermined reason, a pedestrian, identified as Eric Jason Lane, 47, of Avon, Indiana, was lying in the roadway of U.S. 180. Lister was not able to avoid striking Lane who was pronounced deceased at the scene.”
Lane had been working with Nick Casterano this season on Pedregon’s Funny Car. Both were previously together on Bob Tasca III’s Funny Car.
Before joining Tasca III’s team, he also worked on the NAPA Auto Parts Funny Car driven by Ron Capps. While working at Don Schumacher Racing, he worked with tuner Rahn Tobler.
In addition, he has also worked with Jimmy Prock and Austin Coil in his career.
Pedregon and his crew will return to the track following Lane’s death at the Mopar Express Lane NHRA SpringNationals Presented by Pennzoil at Houston Raceway Park in Baytown, Texas. The first pass in memory of Lane will come on Saturday during the first qualifying session.
The team will then close out the season at the Dodge NHRA Finals presented by Pennzoil at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas, Nevada on Oct. 31st and Nov. 1st. Over the next two race weekends, teams will have stickers on their nitro cars in honor of Lane.
“Snap-on has been a part of the motorsports community for decades, and, as a sponsor, we have close working relationships with the teams and individuals who wear the company’s name,” Samuel Buttom, Snap-On Chief Marketing Officer, said. “Our hearts go out to Eric’s family and we mourn with Cruz, the team, and the entire NHRA family on the loss of one of drag racing’s stand-out professionals.”
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