NHRA Pro Stock racer Bill "Grumpy" Jenkins, one of drag racing's most influential stars, has died. He was 81.

Jenkins died on March 29. NHRA president Tom Compton says Jenkins played an integral role in the formation of Pro Stock.

Jenkins was known as much for his mechanical achievements than for his driving. The NHRA says Jenkins was responsible for drag racing's first dry-sump oiling system, the first kickout oil pans and Pro Stock strut-style front suspension, as well as gas port pistons, slick-shift manual transmissions, cool cans, and the electric water-pump fan.

He was inducted into several racing Hall of Fames and was No. 8 among NHRA Drag Racing's greatest racers in a 2001 experts poll.

Jenkins earned 13 NHRA national event wins.