Georgia Greats Honored At Gresham Motosports Park

Jerry Williams (left), David Sosebee (center) and Capt. Herb Emory (right) go three wide during the vintage car pace laps at GMP. Photo courtesy GMP Media

By Brandon Reed
Posted in Feature Stories 5/21/10

On May 15, Gresham Motorsports Park in Jefferson, Georgia played host to the inaugural Georgia Racing Hall of Fame night.

The track, which was recently named as the official track of the GRHOF, invited every Hall of Fame member or family members of Hall of Fame members who are no longer with us, to take part in this special evening.

Each HOF member was given a special pass by the track that not only let them in as a guest that evening, but will also get them into any race at any time at the track for free, as the track’s guest.  It was one of many things speedway officials did to honor the Hall of Fame members.

In addition, the 2009 inductees into the hall were honored in a special ceremony during the pre-race festivities, and each was presented with a certificate of appreciation from the track and the Hall of Fame.  In attendance were 2009 inductees Leon Sells, Ronnie Sanders, Tommie Irvin, Buck Simmons, Katron Sosebee and Jean Burcham, wife of the late Bob Burcham.  Luther Carter was unable to attend, so fellow Hall of Famer Charlie Mincey accepted the award in his honor.  Rocky Estes, son of the late Tootle Estes, was also unable to attend, and asked that Estes’ friend and fellow Hall of Famer Bud Lundsford accept the award in his honor.

Also honored was Annie Dean Samples, who passed away on May 10.  Samples was a staunch supporter of the Hall of Fame, and was the former president of the Hall of Fame board.  Her husband, Charles, was in attendance, and was presented with a certificate in her honor as part of the pre-race ceremony.

Fans were treated to an autograph session with all of the Hall of Fame members on hand, as well as to pace laps by several of the vintage cars that were on display throughout the evening.  Friend of the Hall of Fame Capt. Herb Emory served as emcee for the Hall of Fame event, and even served as “Honorary Pace Car Driver” is his classic Ford Mayberry patrol car.

All in all, it was an excellent night of memories and fellowship, and a great way to kick off the relationship between the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame and Gresham Motorsports Park!

Here’s a look at some of the sights from the first Georgia Racing Hall of Fame night at GMP! Photos courtesy GMP Media.

2009 Georgia Racing HOF inductee Leon "Slick" Sells was on hand to sign autographs for the fans at GMP.

Fans line up to get autographs from members of the Hall of Fame.

Hubert Platt autographs a hat for a fan.

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