By: Pegi Erdman
If you say the name Dave Hatton, most people won’t have a clue who you are talking about. I’m not even sure if the man himself would answer to it. But if you say “Lightning” around the racing circle, you won’t find many people who don’t know him! There’s not a night at the track that I don’t get a welcome hug from this man. He’s quite the name in local racing at the fairgrounds, and his son Scotty is carrying on the racing tradition.
Lightning has been a staple of local racing as far back as I can remember. From the beginning when his wife raced, to now, watching his son Scotty wheel the car. The man is a legend at the Dodge County Fairgrounds. I vividly remember when racing returned weekly to the fairgrounds, September 2014 was the inaugural race. The pits were starting to fill up, and then …. up pulls the old red renovated school bus/race car hauler called The Conference Room …. Lightning’s unique race car hauler. I think a collective sigh could be heard throughout the track as I said “now the Races can begin!” Lightning has had his own parking spot for years at the track. Everyone but him has a sign up with their car number on, but not at that spot. Everyone just knows not to park there …. It’s almost like sacred ground!
Not only does Lightning have a passion for racing, he has a passion for life and giving. He would come every week and give 110% of himself on and off the track. He was recently inducted into the Dodge County Speedway Association (DCSA) Wall of Fame, voted in by his peers. When it comes to sportsmanship, he has been showing generations of drivers how to get it right. Whether it be advice, spare parts or a cold drink, you can always count on him. As a driver, he has been at this track longer than any of us, and he is known for his recognizable hauler as well as the double 00 purple race car.
As one of the few low budget racers left, our hats tip to the Hatton racing team. They are one of the first haulers at the track and usually the last one to leave. Their love for this sport shines in so many ways. If there is a need for anything, Lightning is one of the first ones asking, “What can I do to help?” Be assured that he will race you hard and clean on the race track and be the first to congratulate you on your win. Lightning’s always number one to a lot of people.