The Georgia Racing Hall of Fame isnt just about fast cars.
A pioneering woman of motorcycle racing now has brought one of her winningest bikes to Dawsonville.
Tammy Jo Kirk of Dalton delivered her pink, 330-pound, XR750 Harley Davidison to the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame last week. It was designed especially for racing.
I rode my last race on it Labor Day Weekend in 1989, she said. It was the bike I was most successful with.
Kirk, now 52, rode her first bike when she was three-and-a-half-years-old. She raced her first race at the age of nine. And she just kept going from there.
She won the Ohio State championships in 1980, and in 1983 was the first woman to qualify for a national race.
Kirk also became a member of the 100-mile per hour club.
In 1989, Kirk retired from motorcycle racing and moved on to stock cars. She won the Snowball Derby in 1994, the first woman ever to win the race.
From there, Kirk became the first woman to race in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and later on in the Busch Series. She raced her last race in 2003.
Being a woman in a male dominated sport wasnt easy, Kirk said. It was tough when I was coming up, I was the only womanIf you could dish it out, I could take it, but you better be able to take it back because Id put it back to you.
Kirk said shes excited to see more women coming up in the industry. I think it is getting easier, but it is still tough for a woman no matter what. They dont want to be beat by a woman. No man does.
Now retired from racing, Kirk is back doing what she knows bestmotorcycles. She owns Kirks Cycle in Dalton where she and her staff sell and service motorcycles and dirt bikes.
Georgia Racing Hall of Fame President Gordon Pirkle said hes excited about having Kirks bike at the museum.
We want to show that the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame is not just stock cars, Pirkle said. Maybe this will start a trend.
Kirk was nominated into the Fast 15 to be a contender to be inducted into the Hall of Fame this year.
The inductees will be announced later this year.