Monthly Archives September 2011

Joe Lee Johnson Was A True Racing Champion

Joe Lee Johnson would compete at NASCAR's highest level for several years, winning the inaugural World 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in 1960, before becoming at track owner in Tennessee.

By Eddie Samples
Posted in Feature Stories 9/29/11

Joe Lee Johnson was a tall, quiet, unassuming man who seemed sure of himself.

While doing research on Atlanta’s Lakewood Speedway back in 1999, Sam Colvin, Kenny Bugg, Jimmy Mosteller and myself drove to Tennessee to visit with Joe Lee.

At the time, he owned an old fashioned quarter mile dirt speedway with wooden bleachers in Cleveland Tennessee, similar to what he raced on when he began his career in the early 1950s.

Remembering The Career Of W.M. Fulmer

Mike Bell

By Mike Bell
Posted in Columns 9/23/11

In August of 2007, Walter “W.M.” Fulmer of Saluda, SC passed away at the age of 71.  The former Marine Korean war veteran was born in Martinez, Georgia and was involved in racing most of his life.

W.M. Fulmer started racing in the late 1950s when they reopened the fairgrounds race track at Greenwood, SC.  They ran flatheads and in-line six cylinders.  On a very limited budget, Fulmer did quite well.  His father-in-law, Lewis Maw, promoted Greenwood and Newberry Fairgrounds until the overheads took over.

Lakewood Speedway Was The Scene Of Indy Tragedy

The cars of George Robson (left) and George Barringer (right) at the scene of the Labor Day, 1946 crash that took both men's lives. Photo courtesy Eddie Samples

By Brandon Reed
Posted in Columns 9/16/11

It was planned to be a race to celebrate Labor Day. It ended up as one of the darkest moments in Atlanta racing history.

It occurred on September 2, 1946. Racing promoter Sam Nunis put together a 100-lap Indy car race at Atlanta’s famed Lakewood Speedway, a treacherous one-mile dirt track located on the grounds of the Lakewood Fairgrounds. The event was sanctioned by the AAA, who also sanctioned the famed Indianapolis 500, which had run its first event since the ending of World War II only a few months prior.

‘SuperTex’ Was A Master Of All Kinds Of Racing

Brandon Reed

Brandon Reed

By Brandon Reed
Posted in Columns 9/9/11

A couple of weeks ago, I traveled with Georgia racing historian Mike Bell down to New Senoia Raceway in Senoia, Georgia to take in sprint car action on the fast 3/8 mile track.

After a great night of racing, we headed back north towards the Atlanta area.  As usual, we discussed various aspects of racing, both past and present.

Now, there are many things Mike and I agree on when it comes to the history of auto racing.  There are others that we don’t quite agree on.

Memories of Banks County Speedway Still Linger

A field of classic “Skeeter” Super Modifieds comes off the second turn of the Banks County Speedway sometime in the mid 60s. Photo courtesy Mike Bell

By Brandon Reed
Posted in Feature 9/2/11

Out off of Highway 198 in Banks County in rural North Georgia is a former house of speed.

Hidden out in the woods, on private land and cut off from the world by an electric fence, is the old Banks County Speedway, a track that used to draw the best racers from all over the southeast.

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