On 12/13/14 the Dawsonville based Georgia Racing Hall of Fame opened their books for five new members. Among the notable entries were Leon Archer, Roscoe Smith and 2006 National Dirt Late Model Hall of Fame Inductee, Augusta native, "Lightning" Jack Pennington!
Jack began his march into infamy in 1974 when he took a 3,800lb former Winston Cup car to run at Golden Isles Speedway in Brunswick, GA. The man finished a surprising 3rd. What made the finish even more surprising was the fact that he did so on asphalt tires! Time restraints and availability left the team without dirt track rubber but left stoked coals in his belly for More!!
1st of many Checkers to fall came at the 1/2mi clay banks of Oglethorpe Speedway Park in Savannah, GA. Shortly thereafter word ran rampant all across tracks in Georgia and beyond that Jack was on his way and Lightning was about to Strike! 1979 saw him take 12 poles in 13 races at Myrtle Beach Speedway and claim the Points Championship over fellow Hall of Famer Leon Archer. 1980 cemented the fact that Jack was Lethal at any track. He won an Astonishing 39 Races all across the SE in the B&D Boiler Race Team's car. This included scores of a half dozen wins in the National Dirt Racing Association touring series against some of the finest men to ever grace clay.
During his career Jack Pennington drove for such Legends as Derrick Close, CJ Rayburn, Barry Wright, Walter Newman and many others. With each new team his skills and determination grew as did the level of readiness of his equipment. This enabled him to capture ever Grandeur Events such as the National 100 at EAMS, double handfuls of various series sanctioned events and the Stick Elliot Memorial Race twice at Cherokee Speedway. Onward and Upward, Stretching and Reaching for that Victory Kiss from the Trophy Girl AND Always looking forward to the NEXT Race. That was the cadence that played in Jack's head and his fans followed where he led.
Throngs of fans, myself included, were fortunate to watch Jack ply his trade behind the wheel of a DLM. These indelible, savoured images are forever etched into memory as not one eye present will ever forget the on track Heroics they were witness to. There never was, nor will there ever be a 2nd place in line for
Pics courtesy of Dirt Track Photo's by Richard Barnes