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Stop and think about it, how many octogenarians do you know who can rightfully lay claim to driving a race car -- a rocket powered go-kart no less -- at speeds in excess of 200 miles per hour? Really, how many such gifted individuals do you know of? To say that Captain Jack McClure is a unique person is an understatement of epic proportions. The man, his life and times, are truly the stuff legends are forged from.
If you’re never heard of Jack McClure and his hydrogen peroxide fueled rocket engine-powered go-kart before that would not be unusual. Captain Jack was barnstorming across America with his kart mostly between the years 1971 to 1973. Many drag racing fans of today were not even born back in Jack’s heyday when he was a name as big as the biggest names in the sport, back when showmanship was more important than performance numbers.
Jack was all over the place at racetracks during those years and at the end of the 1973 season Jack sold his famous rocket kart. But not before posting an astounding 5.98 elapsed time at 213.27 mph recorded on Sunday, November 4, 1973, at Beeline Dragway in Arizona. Considering NHRA Top Fuel cars at the time entered the fives on November 17, 1972, just one year prior, it’s easy to see why Jack McClure was in high demand back in the day.
For this very reason, after his barnstorming years, Jack was mighty burnt out and sold his exhibition racing operation to live a more moderate pace of life and do something else he loves to do, go fishing. Jack was a charter boat captain during part of his barnstorming years and after the dust settled from his drag racing escapades, Jack had more time to be “Capt. Jack” once again.