Chip Horton better known as The Terminator is 45 years old and has been racing for the past 30 years at an average of two times a week. Chip has lived a bracket racerís dream and has loved every minute of it. The first trip to the drag strip was in 1968 at the age of 14. When he turned 16 in 1970 he was going to the track every chance he could get and just enjoyed watching. In 1971 Chip was involved in a bad accident that resulted in the loss of his left leg. ďI knew that I was going to dragrace anyway regardless of the negative good intentions I received from others about not being able to work the brake and gas pedals at the same time with only one leg.Ē
Chip bought his first car in 1971, a brand new Dodge Demon. The first three times that he raced it, he had two wins and one runner up. In 1973 he graduated from high school and instead of taking a summer job, he knew that he was going to make his way by bracket racing! In 1974, he won his first BIG race. It took 10 rounds to win and the purse was $385 dollars. Back then, that was considered a lot of money for winning a dragrace.
Chip Horton was really killing them in those days and people were starting to take notice. In 1975, Chip was hired to drive a 1962 SS/GA Plymouth. This was a first class car that Chip won a lot of Super Stock and also Bracket Races with. He continued to drive this car for a year and realized that he didnít like driving for someone else. He wanted his own car.
In 1976, Chip bought what he refers to as THE CAR! The 1969 Dart that propelled him to 16 track championships! The cost for this car was only $600. This car still has the original motor that came in it.
All the numbers match on this vehicle. 1976 was also the year that he raced in his first ET Finals. After his debut in 1976 he raced the next 27 ET Finals in a row!
Buster Couch was the Division Two director then. At one time he asked the racers if there were any questions, only one person raised their hand. He later found out that it was Johnny Labbous. You see there were three classes at the first ET Finals, and Johnny dominated the Pro Class winning it. He also drove his wives car to the semi finals in the Heavy Class and probably should have won but ran a 12.99 on a 13 flat at 3 cars. Make no mistake John was the man in those days and for the next 10 years until electronics in dragracing became a household name. In 1978 Labbous came to Savannah Dragstrip. He got down to 3 cars for $1000. One of the three cars left had a flat and the other racer left would not wait for him to change his tire. Chip was standing there when John told the racer with the flat tire not to worry, that he would run the guy and beat him then he would come back and run him for the thousand dollars. Johnny didnít win, and the other guy won the race. That guy was Chip Horton.
From the late 1970ís until the early 1980ís Chipís car was simply untouchable. In 1984 The National Dragster had been keeping tabs on who had been winning the most races. Chip Horton was the first racer mentioned. A runner up at the Division Finals that year.
Also in 1984 for the first time Chip met a racer who was bigger and better as far as he was concerned. It was Tim Butler. Chip considered him one of the best all round foot brakers at the time, that he had ever met.
In 1985, Car Craft Magazine called. They flew from California to Georgia to meet Chip and do a story highlighting his contributions to the sport of Bracket Racing. At that time, Chip had won over 300 races and was thrilled to be in the spot light. Not realizing that he was going to be featured in over 40 more racing magazines. He was awarded Reporter of the Year in 1986. Also for that year he was featured in Chrysler Power Magazine with Don Garlits and Shirley Muldowney! Chip has this magazine framed and mounted and hanging in his home with both signatures on it. He treasures this, above all other awards.
Chip "The Terminator" Horton won his only out of state championship in 1988 at Jax Raceway in Florida. Don Garlits awarded him his Championship Trophy in person and this is remembered as the biggest thrill of his racing career. Also in 1988, Super Stock Magazine did a feature on his car, referring to him as TOP GUN, THE WINNINGEST DRAGRACER EVER! He went on to be featured in Super Stock Magazine in two more issues.
Through the 1990ís Chip continued to win many races and championships. In 1990 he won his only Race Of Champions. He continued on to win FIVE more championships throughout the 1990ís. In 1997, Chip Horton retired the Dodge Dart after winning his 16th championship in it.
You can still find him racing. In 1998 and 1999 he won back to back championships driving his Lincoln Towncar!
- 600 Plus First Place Wins
- 20 (21 now!) NHRA, IHRA, and OutLaw Track Championships
- 4 Different Classes, 3 (4 now!) Different Decades
- There have only been five racers in 25 years that have beaten Chip Horton out of a points championship
- The First Bracket Racer ever on the cover of The National Dragster
- The First Be A Winner - Be A Member contest
- Named Super Stock Magazineís Winningest DragRacer of All Time
- Chip had the First Sears Craftsman Show Car ever at a National Event
- Having had 3 bounties on him at three different dragstips!
- Raced at the first 27 Division Two ET Finals
- Featured in over 40 magazines
- Inducted into DragRaceResults.com Legends Hall of Fame
It is an honor for us here at DragRaceResults.com for Chip Horton to be our first inducted into the Bracket Racers Legends Hall of Fame. Chip we thank you for sharing a part of your racing experiences with us. We have certainly enjoyed putting it all together and hope you enjoyed it as well.