Skip to content

Legendary drag racing owner/driver ‘Big Jim’ Dunn to undergo surgery for colon cancer

Jul 9, 2014, 11:08 PM EDT

Team owner Jim Dunn. (Photo courtesy NHRA) Team owner Jim Dunn. (Photo courtesy NHRA)

ESPN drag racing analyst Mike Dunn will physically be in Denver next weekend when the NHRA kicks off its noted three-race, mid-summer “western swing,” which goes from Denver to Sonoma, Calif., and concludes in Seattle.

But a good part of Dunn’s mind and emotion will likely be back home in Southern California, focused on the progress and recovery from surgery of his father, legendary team owner and former driver “Big Jim” Dunn.

Jim Dunn, who turned 80 in March, is slated to undergo surgery for colon cancer next week, according to a news release issued Wednesday by NHRA officials.

With what the team and Dunn family patriarch will go through, the entire Jim Dunn Racing team and the Grime Boss Funny Car will miss all three races of the western swing, team officials also announced Wednesday.

Dunn’s pre-surgical prognosis is good, according to doctors, who believe the cancer has been caught in its earliest stages.

“We are grateful that this was discovered during his annual physical.” said Jon Dunn, Jim’s other son and team business manager. “Early diagnosis is crucial in his treatment and recovery. I can’t think of a single NHRA event Dad has missed, and know it won’t be long before he’s back.”

The elder Dunn has been drag racing for 64 years. He raced competitively behind the wheel from 1950 to 1990 before retiring to become a team owner and crew chief.

The team is expected to rejoin the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series in time for the Lucas Oil Nationals in Brainerd, Minnesota, Aug. 15-17.

Fans attending any of the three western swing races will have the opportunity to sign a large get-well card for Dunn, one of the most respected members of the drag racing community.

In addition, fans can post get-well wishes to the Grime Boss Facebook page (facebook.com/GrimeBoss).

Follow me @JerryBonkowski

Latest Posts
  1. Roger Penske defends Keselowski, says other drivers “jealous” of his success

    Oct 19, 2014, 9:00 PM EDT

    Sprint All-Star Race - Qualifying Getty Images

    The Captain doesn’t mind some emotion and edge from his veteran driver.

  2. What now if your favorite driver is eliminated from Chase?

    Oct 19, 2014, 8:19 PM EDT

    (Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) Getty Images

    If you’re a hardcore NASCAR fan, even if your favorite driver has been eliminated for the remainder of the Chase for the Sprint Cup, you’re probably asking a very poignant question: Now what?

  3. Ryan Newman’s car found to be too low in rear, could lead to penalties

    Oct 19, 2014, 7:43 PM EDT

    GEICO 500 - Practice Getty Images

    Newman finished fifth in today’s race at Talladega and entered the Eliminator Round of the Chase with a 27-point cushion over the cutoff.

  4. Winless wonders: Ryan Newman, Matt Kenseth break into Eliminator Round

    Oct 19, 2014, 7:00 PM EDT

    Hollywood Casino 400 - Practice Getty Images

    While they’re still missing a checkered flag, Newman and Kenseth are doing what they have to do.

  5. Uncanny: Powerful Hendrick Motorsports goes from four to just one team left in Chase

    Oct 19, 2014, 6:33 PM EDT

    (AP Photo/John Bazemore) AP

    Hendrick Motorsports began Sunday at Talladega with four teams still in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. But its race day ended with three of those four eliminated from advancing to the next round, and veteran Jeff Gordon left as the lone HMS to move on.

  6. Dale Jr., Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch and Kasey Kahne eliminated from Chase

    Oct 19, 2014, 6:01 PM EDT

    (AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt) AP

    Defending Sprint Cup champ Jimmie Johnson, teammates Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kasey Kahne, and Kyle Busch were all eliminated from advancing in the Chase Sunday at Talladega.

  7. Brad Keselowski wins at Talladega on 2nd G-W-C attempt, advances in Chase

    Oct 19, 2014, 5:46 PM EDT

    Geico 500 Getty Images

    One week after being part of the post-race controversy in Charlotte, Keselowski gets the victory he needed to keep his season going.

  8. Late wreck knocks Dale Jr. out of Chase advancement

    Oct 19, 2014, 5:35 PM EDT

    (Todd Warshaw/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s dream of his first Sprint Cup championship this season ended in a nightmare two laps from the end of Sunday’s Geico 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.

  9. UPDATED: Chase contender Kyle Busch back on track after Lap 102 crash (VIDEO)

    Oct 19, 2014, 4:47 PM EDT

    (Photo: Nick Laham/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Busch had been up 26 points over the Chase cutoff going into today’s race.

  10. Faced with must-win scenarios, Earnhardt, Johnson lead halfway at Talladega

    Oct 19, 2014, 3:55 PM EDT

    (AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt) AP

    Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jimmie Johnson – in must-win situations – have been among the top performers in Sunday’s Geico 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.

  11. Keselowski falls back after taking side damage in Lap 60 incident

    Oct 19, 2014, 3:27 PM EDT

    GEICO 500 - Practice Getty Images

    Keselowski one of several drivers needing a win today at Talladega.

  12. New book celebrates 50-year history of NHRA’s World Finals

    Oct 19, 2014, 2:59 PM EDT

    (Photo courtesy NHRA) (Photo courtesy NHRA)

    When it comes to the NHRA, there’s only one Pomona. And now there’s a new book to commemorate the upcoming 50th anniversary of the season-ending NHRA World Finals.

  13. Surprising revelation: Dale Jr. admits he coasted earlier in his career — ‘I just rested on my legacy and last name’

    Oct 19, 2014, 2:22 PM EDT

    (Brian Lawdermilk, Getty Images) Getty Images

    In one of the most candid interviews of his career, Dale Earnhardt Jr. admitted that he hasn’t always been as determined and focused on success as he is now.

  14. WSR and DTM paddocks send their support to Jules Bianchi

    Oct 19, 2014, 2:00 PM EDT

    © Renault Sport © Renault Sport

    The motorsport world continues to send its support to Bianchi and his family two weeks on from his accident in Japan.

  15. Richard Petty Motorsports returning to former home base

    Oct 19, 2014, 1:12 PM EDT

    (AP Photo/Mel Evans) AP

    One day after it was revealed that Richard Petty Motorsports will have to find a new base for its racing operations, the legendary Hall of Famer’s teams are going home in a sense.

  16. Button thankful for support amid uncertain F1 future

    Oct 19, 2014, 1:00 PM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Monaco - Previews Getty Images

    McLaren driver takes to Twitter to thanks his fans for their support.

  17. With nothing left to do but win, Dale Earnhardt Jr. faces Talladega with optimism

    Oct 19, 2014, 12:15 PM EDT

    GEICO 500 - Practice Getty Images

    Junior: “We’re going to go out there and try to accomplish that goal and give it all we’ve got.”

  18. Max Verstappen finishes FIA F3 season in third place

    Oct 19, 2014, 12:00 PM EDT

    Belgium F1 GP Auto Racing AP

    Esteban Ocon champion as the FIA F3 European Championship season comes to an end at Hockenheim in Germany.

  19. Report: Kubica still dreaming of Formula 1 comeback

    Oct 19, 2014, 11:00 AM EDT

    AUTO-RALLY-WORLD-WRC Getty Images

    Former F1 driver will consider his options for 2015 over the winter.

  20. Leaving Red Bull could be the making of Sebastian Vettel

    Oct 19, 2014, 10:00 AM EDT

    AUTO-PRIX-RUS Getty Images

    They named him “Baby Schumi” back in 2008, and the moniker is becoming all the more relevant as he prepares for life with Ferrari in 2015.

Video from NASCAR America

Terry Labonte's milestone race
Top 10 NASCAR Driver Searches
  1. B. Keselowski (2000)
  2. K. Busch (1766)
  3. J. McMurray (1411)
  4. T. Stewart (1272)
  5. J. Gordon (1234)