Monthly Archives March 2011

Tammy Jo Kirk Was A Racer, Not A Trendsetter

Dalton, Georgia's Tammy Jo Kirk became the first woman to win the famed Snowball Derby back in 1994. Photo courtesy Ronnie Solesbee collection

By Jeff Hood-Guest Contributor
Posted in Feature Stories 3/25/11

It was another day at the office for Tammy Jo Kirk at her motorcycle shop in Dalton, Georgia back in December when word arrived that 18-year-old Johanna Long had won last the 43rd annual Snowball Derby Super Late Model race in Pensacola, Fla.

It was welcome news to the 48-year-old Kirk, the 1994 winner of the Derby. But Long’s win means Kirk is no longer the only female winner of the Derby.

At Speed At Atlanta With Jackie Smith

Brandon Reed

Brandon Reed

By Brandon Reed
Posted in Columns 3/18/11

Last Saturday proved to be another milestone for me, as I got a chance to make my on-track debut at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Okay, it sounds bigger than it actually was, but for me – it was huge!

I was at AMS, working with other volunteers to represent the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame during the track’s open house event.  Along with Bobby Milam and I were several other volunteers, including Jackie Smith, son of Hall of Fame racer Jack Smith.

Mrs. Betty Lilly, NASCAR Pioneer

The Betty Lilly owned #24 Ford, driven by Sam McQuagg, provided one of the most iconic moments in NASCAR history, as McQuagg tangled with Cale Yarborough (27) while racing for the lead in the 1965 Southern 500.

By Mike Bell
Posted in Feature Stories 3/11/11

When I sat down to write about Mrs. Betty Lilly, I wondered if all those South Georgia racers realized what an influence she was on racing down there. She spent an enormous amount of money helping Sam McQuagg to become “Rookie-of-the-Year” in NASCAR’s Grand National Division, the premier division of racing as far as Southerners were concerned at that time.

Roosevelt Johnson A Hero On And Off The Drag Strip


Rick Minter

By Rick Minter-Guest Contributor
Posted in Columns 3/4/11

Most folks don’t get into the sports reporting business for the money. They do it for chances to write about people like Roosevelt Johnson.

Johnson, one of the South’s pioneering drag racers, died this past January at the age of 80. I interviewed him several times over the years, visited in his home, watched him work on racing engines in his shop, rode up and down the road with him, and even went to a NASCAR track with him.

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