Book Biographs Local Racing Legend

John “Jack” Zink loved to compete. Throughout his lifetime, he fulfilled that desire in business, on the race track, on the endurance course, on the water and even in politics.
Historian and author Bob Blackburn takes readers for a ride across the multi-faceted life of the industrialist and auto racing pioneer in “To Indy and Beyond: The Life of Racing Legend Jack Zink.” The 206-page book chronicles Zink’s passion for racing, which led him to the top of several motor sports — including two victories at the Indianapolis 500.
During a 60-year love affair with speed, Zink captured titles and set the standard in stock car, endurance and midget auto racing. Before turning 30 years old, Jack led his team in back-to-back Indy victories in 1955 and 1956. He then took up off-road and motorcycle racing and won more than a dozen major events, including the grueling Baja 500.
Never satisfied to let grass grow under his feet, Zink took to the water and became a successful figure in Lightning-class sailing.
During this same time, Zink was a skilled engineer and businessman, ultimately building not one, but two companies into international giants — first the John Zink Co. and later Zeeco — that still dominate the combustion industry with burners, flares and incinerators that greatly reduce pollution.
Zink’s passion for competition even led him into the political arena where he ran, albeit unsuccessfully, for U.S. Senate in 1980.
With more than 150 photos, “To Indy and Beyond: The Life of Racing Legend Jack Zink” is a fascinating read for fans of motor sports and Tulsa and Oklahoma history. It is also powerfully motivational, as Blackburn captures the essence of the energetic, competitive spirit that drove Jack Zink.
Published by Oklahoma City-based Cottonwood Publications, the book had a private release last year. Today, the book is available at selected Tulsa-area booksellers and at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway online gift shop.

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