Racers And Fans Remember Middle Georgia Raceway

It looked like old times when former racers, fans and officials gathered at the old Middle Georgia Raceway for a reunion hosted by Racer’s Reunion.com earlier this month. Photos by Joe Cawley

By Brandon Reed
Posted in Feature Stories 4/1/11

Back on March 12, the folks at Racers Reunion.com held the inaugural Jeff Smith Chevrolet Middle Georgia Raceway Reunion, held at the historic Middle Georgia Raceway in Byron, Georgia, near Macon.

The old track had sat dormant for many years, but a group of volunteers worked tirelessly to get the track ready for the big day.

Middle Georgia was a staple on the NASCAR and southern short track circuits for many years.  From 1966 through 1971, NASCAR’s Grand National series competed there, with drivers such as Richard Petty, Bobby Allison, David Pearson and Bobby Isaac winning.

The high speed half-mile speedway also hosted many great asphalt late model events, with Georgia Racing Hall of Fame members Bob Burcham, Bruce Brantley, Jody Ridley, Charlie Mincey, Ronnie Sanders, Luther Carter and many others competing and winning there.

The track closed in the mid 1980s, and has sat dormant since then.  Several attempts have been made to revive racing at the facility, but all have failed.

But on this day, racers and fans returned to Middle Georgia to remember the past.  Drivers such as Bobby Allison, Rex White, Bruce Brantley, Eddie MacDonald, Johnny Mallonnee, Harold Fountain, Eddie Spurling, Charlie Mincey and others told tales and signed autographs.  Maybe that holds a glimmer of hope for the future of the old facility.

Here’s a look at some of the happenings at the Middle Georgia Raceway reunion, courtesy of the camera of Joe Cawley.

 

A lot of hard work went into getting Middle Georgia Raceway ready for its big day, as you can tell by looking down the backstretch and into turn three.

 

Georgia Racing Hall of Fame member Bruce Brantley had his Camaro on the front row at the event.

 

Bobby Allison was on hand for the reunion as well. Bobby won the November, 1967, November 1969 and November 1971 NASCAR Grand National events at Middle Georgia, while his late son Davey won the final major event at the track, a 200-lap ARCA race in October of 1984.

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