No one, and I mean absolutely no one individual, had a greater impact on auto racing in this region than Jack Sponsler. The likeable and good natured Everett resident passed away Friday at the age of 94 to assume his reward and his eternal home. It’s incalculable to determine how many lives he impacted by following his dream and taking on an ambitious project in the fall of 1955. Without Jack’s vision to build a racetrack on prime river bottom farm ground on the outskirts of his hometown, it would be mere speculation whether any of our area’s great drivers, owners, and mechanics would have made a mark in racing. It was Jack that provided the stage where relatively unknowns could showcase their talents on his 1/4 mile bullring. The track had charisma, that special intangible something that had us talking all week & returning each Saturday night.
Most men that build racetracks also want to operate the track as promoter. And in essence that was Jack’s genius, he was content with doing what he knew best when he built South Penn Speedway. He then allowed the Hobby Auto Racing Association club to set rules and handle race night operations, something they did very well once gaining experience. In a time when so many of our first generation racing heros have witnessed their final checkered flag, we respectfully salute the man who gave us auto racing in Bedford County. The past 65 years of racing history can be.
traced to one man, Thank You Jack Sponsler for a full life lived extremely well.
In the Museum of Speed group photo below, the Members interviewed Jack and had one great afternoon learning how South Penn Speedway went from idea to reality.
Seated are Jack Sponsler, John Pittman, and Jake Hoover. Standing are Doug Arnold, Eric Zembower, Bob Elbin, Terry Calhoun, and Don Metzler.