are honored to welcome Jack Flannery to the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame
Class of 2009 in the Competition: Off-Road Racing category.
Championship off-road racer Jack
Flannery is one of the most well-known names in off-road racing for his talents
as a competitor and an innovator. Born and raised in Crandon, Wisconsin,
Flannery joins an extremely elite group of other legends such as Walker Evans
and Ivan “Ironman” Stewart, among others, in the Off Road Motorsports Hall of
Fame. The achievement is also significant in that Flannery is the first off-road
champion from the Midwest to be inducted into the Hall.
brought short course off-road racing to the mainstream by being the first
Midwest native to organize a professional off-road race team that was capable of
competing against, and beating, the best off-road racers in the world. His
passion and commitment to the sport and innovative truck designs helped bring
short course off-road racing to a higher level. Being continuously involved in
every aspect of the sport, from track designs and layout, to bridging the gap
between promoters, racers, fans, and sponsors alike, he enabled more people to
experience and enjoy the sport on all levels.
Starting his career at the legendary
Crandon International Off-Road Raceway as a grass roots off-road racer, his
charismatic personality, techniques and refinements allowed him success in a
variety of venues. Competing against factory sponsored teams in the initial
stages of his career, privateer Flannery, with the financial backing from
Flannery Trucking, owned by his father Melvin and late mother Dorothy, proved
early on he was quite talented behind the wheel and a force to be reckoned with.
Beginning his nearly three-decade
racing career by piloting a snowmobile, he switched his efforts in the ‘70's to
a Class 6 two wheel drive sedan and utility vehicle. In '74 he discovered a new
niche and began piloting rear engine off-road buggies. In the late 70's he began
to focus his talents and passion on the full-size truck classes.
Competing in the Mint 400 in the Nevada
desert in ‘78 and ‘79 helped Flannery gain valuable experience.
Venturing into Canadian territory in
the early ‘80's, Flannery
competed in the Canadian Off-Road Series two times, all the while dominating the
Midwest SODA series and racking up five Pro Series Championship titles. He also
competed in the SCORE Off-Road Championships in Riverside, California.
In 1990, Flannery
added another victory at the Inaugural SCORE Off-Road Championships in Phoenix,
Arizona. The highlight of 1990 was when Flannery captured the Class F truck
title in the Pikes Peak Auto Hill Climb and earned "Rookie of the Year" honors
while piloting a Ford F-150.
The following year brought a major
sponsorship on behalf of Chevrolet and launch of the famous “Chevy Thunder” Team
as well as 9 wins out of 10 events in the SODA ESPN-TV Pro Series. Jack also
once again returned to Pikes Peak, this time driving a new full-size Chevrolet,
and not only won the Heavy Metal title, but shattered his own record by a
whopping 22 seconds! In ‘92 Flannery made the trek back to the "Hill" finishing
second. 1993 again showcased Flannery’s talent as he stormed through the SODA
circuit by winning five of six events, and taking home the ESPN Pro Series
Championship for a sixth time.
In subsequent years, Flannery
was a solid fixture in professional short course off-road racing and again no
stranger in victory circle scoring numerous Pro 4 and Heavy Metal wins. The
pinnacle of his career came in 1996 when he won the coveted $125,000 Borg Warner
Cup Race at Crandon International Off-Road Raceway. “Mr.
Chevy Thunder” followed that up in 1997 with a clean sweep at Crandon, once
again winning both Pro 4 classes and the prestigious Governor’s (now called
“Chairman’s”) Cup Race. Victory followed Flannery into 1998 when against a world
class field of off-road competitors; he dominated and claimed the CORR Pro 4
Championship title and in 1999 won a second Chairman’s Cup as his curtain call.
Having accomplished goals most can only
dream of with well over 150 class wins and series titles, Jack has enough
championship rings to fit every finger and toe on his body.
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