Preston “Peeps” Pennington grew up immersed in the sport of drag racing. His dad and two older brothers were drivers, and he started racing his dad’s roadster when he was just 15. From then on, he knew he wanted to race for a living, and he’s made that dream become a reality.
After graduating college with a mechanical engineering degree, and a very impressive 3.93 GPA, Pennington told his dad that he wanted to go racing full time. His dad agreed to the idea, thinking he would run out of money eventually.
Pennington says that when he was about to graduate college, he had an interview with a potential employer and he gave them his racing schedule for the coming summer. “I basically needed the whole summer off to go racing, so that job didn’t work out,” he remembers. “I knew I wanted to race for a living, but if that didn’t work out, I could go to work somewhere.”
And so far, it’s worked out well for the 28-year-old Texas racer. He and his two brothers usually travel to every race together. They also started a used car dealership in 2015, which allows him the flexibility he needs to travel and race full time.
While Pennington says that he’s won a lot of really cool races, the Spring Fling Million he won in April earlier this year is a highlight of his career. “There is so much prestige that comes with winning one of their races,” Pennington says. “And I was able to be there with my dad, who doesn’t come racing with us as much anymore, and I was driving one of his cars. It made that day even more special. We will spend the money, but the trophy and that memory of my family being there will last forever.”
Pennington says he has a lot more accomplishments left on his list, including taking home a win at the original Million Dollar Drag Race in Montgomery, Alabama, and winning the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis. He’s also an avid Pro Mod fan, flying to Denver each year to watch the World Series of Pro Mod race, and he’d like to get behind the wheel of a Pro Mod one day.
This story originally appeared in DI #151, the 30 Under 30 Issue, in December of 2019.