Remembering Katron Sosebee

Katron "Cannonball" Sosebee

Katron "Cannonball" Sosebee

By Brandon Reed
Posted in Feature Stories 11/26/10

On Thursday, Nov. 25, the Georgia racing scene lost one of it’s great hall of fame drivers.

Word came down  early Friday morning that 2009 Georgia Racing Hall of Fame inductee Katron Sosebee passed away suddenly while at his daughter’s home in North Carolina.

He was 81 years of age.

Sosebee, of Lilburn, Georgia, had been fighting health problems off and on for the past year since his induction, but had rallied back several times.

Katron Sosebee was born in rural Habersham County, Georgia, and would be a force to be reckoned with on dirt tracks throughout the state. He began his racing career in 1953 at the legendary Peach Bowl in Atlanta.

From the early 50s to the 70s, Sosebee went toe-to-toe with the likes of Leon Sells, Bud Lundsford, Jabez Jones, T.C. Hunt, Bruce Brantley and Harold Fryar, just to name a few.  Sosebee was a frequent winner in the Super Modified ranks at the famed Peach Bowl in Atlanta, where he was the NASCAR points champion in 1963.

1963 was a big year for “Cannonball”.  That was the year he set a qualifying records at Montgomery Motor Speedway in Montgomery, Alabama, Boyd’s Speedway in Ringgold, Georgia and Cleveland Speedway in Cleveland, Tennessee. He also recorded wins at those tracks.

Sosebee made it all the way to Daytona in the early 70s, but his bid to run in the Daytona 500 was thwarted by an accident in the pits that totaled his car. After retiring from racing, Sosebee went on to build and maintain cars for his son Bo, and his nephew Michael, racing mostly at Lanier National Speedway.

On October 22, 2009, Sosebee was inducted into the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame in Dawsonville, Georgia.

Sosebee was also honored in May of 2010 at the inaugural Georgia Racing Hall of Fame night at Gresham Motorsports Park in Jefferson, Georgia, along with the other members of the Class of 2010.

He will be remembered not only as a strong competitor on the race track, but as a staunch supporter of the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame and the history it represents, including his.

Sosebee with Jimmy Mosteller in victory lane at Atlanta's Peach Bowl.

Sosebee with Jimmy Mosteller in victory lane at Atlanta's Peach Bowl. Photos courtesy Katron Sosebee

A look at "Cannonball's" super modified.

A look at "Cannonball's" super modified.

Sosebee is congratulated in victory lane.

Sosebee is congratulated in victory lane.

2009 Georgia Racing Hall of Fame inductee Katron "Cannonball" Sosebee had some items on display.

Sosebee proudly displayed many of his racing momentos during the 2009 Lakewood Speedway reunion, just a few months prior to his being inducted into the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame. Photo by Brandon Reed

Katron Sosebee smiles for the cameras during his induction into the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame in October of 2009.

Sosebee was inducted into the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame in October of 2009. Photo by Brandon Reed

Sosebee poses with the other members of the Class of 2009, including Luther Carter, Rocky Estes (son of Tootle Estes), Leon Sells, Buck Simmons, Tommie Irvin, Ronnie Sanders and Jean Burcham, wife of late driver Bob Burcham. Photo by Brandon Reed

Katron Sosebee shares a story with Tim Booth during Georgia Racing Hall of Fame Night at Gresham Motorsports Park in May of this year. Photo courtesy GMP Media

All of us here at GRH.com wish to extend our condolences to Katron’s family and friends.  He was a great competitor and a great ambassador for the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame, and he will truly be missed.

Funeral services are scheduled for Monday, Nov. 29, at 2 p.m. at Bill Head Funeral Home in Lilburn, Georgia.  Visitation will be held Sunday, Nov. 28 at 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. at the funeral home.

Brandon Reed is the editor and webmaster of Georgia Racing History.com.


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