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Obstacles Can’t Keep Horton Down

Wednesday, 25 April 2018
 
NBA Hall of Famer, Michael Jordan was famously quoted as saying, “Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.”
The same can be said for Chip Horton, of Jesup, Ga., who was the 2002 International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) Summit SuperSeries World Champion who had to overcome the obstacle of driving his car known as “Trinity” with one leg against tough competition throughout the entire season.
 
 chip horton superseries world champion
 
A week after his 17th birthday, Horton recalled his story like it happened yesterday, as he was riding his motorcycle home from work when he was struck by a drunk driver. 
 
“I was driving home from work, and a car was speeding in the left lane,” Horton said. “To try and get away from the car I drove off the highway into a ditch. However, the rear bumper of the car struck my left leg severing it at the knee.” Horton continued. 
 
As he laid in the ditch, close to his house, friends rushed to his aid to help stop the bleeding on the leg. The heroic efforts of finding a belt with holes all the way around it and pulling as tight as they could helped save his life. 
 
The trip to the hospital was even more interesting for Horton as the small county used hearses as ambulances in those days.
 
“It was the first time I rode in hearse,” Horton continued. “Riding in the hearse happened a lot earlier than I expected!” Horton said. 
 
As Horton recuperated in the hospital bed, the staff informed him that his riding and racing days were over. 
 
Those words were not enough to keep him down.  After Horton got out of the hospital, he purchased a three-wheeled motorcycle from a local shop in Brunswick, Ga.  After learning to ride the three-wheeler, Horton decided it was time to go racing. 
 
That bought on the infamous 1969 Dodge Dart that had a matching numbers motor named ‘Trinity” after a Western movie. 
 
chip horton car shot
 
To help prepare him for racing, Horton would practice driving on the street perfecting the way he held the brake.
 
“Whenever I came to a red-light in town, I would twist my foot so that I could step on the gas with my toes and my heels on the brake,” Horton commented. “I shaved the brake pedal down so that it would be easier to drive.” Horton continued. 
 
That technique helped propel him to over 1,000 final rounds and over 700 wins. Even more amazing is that Horton had a perfect points season winning every race one year. 
 
Horton always loved to make someone’s day at the track.  Whenever he would see fellow fans on crutches or in wheelchairs, he would walk up to them and hand them his trophy. 
 
“It really put a smile on their face and to hear that some of my trophies have ended up all over the world!” Horton commented.
 
When Horton won the 2002 IHRA Summit SuperSeries World Championship, he was amazed and blown away when he got a standing ovation from his fellow racers. 
 
“It was moment I could not forget. All of the fellow racers and peers standing for your accomplishments was easily one of the best moments in my career.” Horton said.
 
These days Horton enjoys life at his home in Jessup, Ga., with his wife Suzette. He still gets the itch to go racing every now and then.  
 
“You never know you might see me in the other lane beating competitors if I decide to bring out “Trinity” again,” Horton joked.
 
Just because you might have limitations doesn’t mean they should hold you down. Reach for the stars and you can accomplish your dreams and goals. 
 
To view more photos of Chip Horton’s extensive trophy room and history click here.
 
For those interested in pursuing their own dreams and becoming an IHRA member and to compete in the $200,000 IHRA Summit SuperSeries program, click here.
Last modified on Wednesday, 25 April 2018

 

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