Hearse Carrying Body of Fallen Drag Racer Rockets Down the Strip One Last Time
The memorial of the Australian racer, who unfortunately lost his battle to brain cancer, welcomed over 1,000 people.
Family and friends of the late Australian drag racer Frank Palumbo celebrated his life in an unbeatable way: by sending his hearse down the drag strip for one final ride in front of 1,200 supporting fans.
Palumbo was a popular drag racer and an instrumental figure in forming the highly-rated ACDelco Slammer Drag Racing Team in which his son Ronnie raced. According to Palumbo's social media, he received a diagnosis of life-threatening brain cancer earlier this year, which forced him and his family to make the best of whatever time he had left. Fortunately for Palumbo, this even meant getting a ride in his favorite class of drag racer, Australia's Pro Slammer, the semi-equivalent to the Funny Cars found in the United States.
Palumbo enjoyed his ride, but his condition worsened.
His son Ronnie announced via his father's social media last week that Frank lost his fight with cancer on Nov. 2, and identified the date of his memorial services for the week after. Before taking Frank to his funeral, however, Ronnie called on all of Frank's racing friends and the motorsport community to join a convoy with Frank's hearse to Sydney Dragway, where they would send both the hearse with Frank in it and one of his team's cars on a trailer down together.
Once word got out, as many as 1,200 people came to pay their respects to Palumbo. One attendee, John Princi, recorded Frank's final quarter-mile run, which featured a glorious screech of the hearse's tires on launch.
Frank Palumbo requested that funeral goers should forget flowers, and instead donate to the Cure Brain Cancer Foundation.
Peace be with the Palumbo family, godspeed to all of his racing friends, and hats off to those who paid their respects to Frank. Somewhere up there, he's laying down seven-second passes.