By Brandon Reed
Posted in Feature Stories 8/04/12
As fans and organizers prepare for the fifth annual Lakewood Speedway Reunion at the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame in Dawsonville, GA on Aug. 11, it’s with two racing heroes in mind that the event will be held.
NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Cotton Owens, who passed away back on June 7, and Georgia Racing Hall of Famer Jimmy Mosteller, who passed away on July 4, will be honored at this year’s event.
Both men played a role in writing the history of the famed Lakewood Speedway, known in it’s heyday as “The Indianapolis of the South.” Owens competed and fielded cars at the legendary one mile track, even scoring a win in modified competition in the 1950s.
Owens would show his support not only for the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame, but for its home city’s signature event, the annual Mountain Moonshine Festival, which raises money for needy children in Dawson County, GA. Owens would donate his time each year, coming out to sign autographs and meet with the fans, and also served one year as the event’s Grand Marshall.
Mosteller was the voice of the great speedway, working as the track announcer and as a promoter over the years at Lakewood. Mosteller played a huge role in the development and establishment of the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame, and continued to help with the Hall, often playing emcee at events (including the 2011 Lakewood Speedway Reunion), and was served on the voting panel for the inductees for the Hall of Fame each year, including casting votes for this year’s Hall of Fame inductees.
Viewed by many historians as the most historic and important racetrack in Georgia history, Lakewood Speedway was built in 1917 around a former water reservoir for the city of Atlanta.
The one-mile dirt oval was the site of several events for NASCAR stock cars, modifieds, Indy Cars, motorcycles and even speedboats on the infield lake.
Lakewood was one of the most prestigious stops on several national stock car and open wheel circuits over the years. Stock car aces such as Lee Petty, Tim Flock, Curtis Turner, Junior Johnson, and Tiny Lund made their way to Lakewood’s victory lane. Indy cars were also regulars at the speedway in its heyday, with drivers such as Ted Horn, Al Keller, Eddie Sachs and Bill Holland taking recording wins
The track hosted its last automobile race in 1979. Only a small portion of the original track remains today, located just south of downtown Atlanta.
In holding the Lakewood Reunion, the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame hopes to help keep the memory and history of Lakewood Speedway and those that raced there alive. Attendees are asked to bring any personal photos they may have from the speedway to share, and to be scanned into the GRHOF archives.
The cost to attend this year’s Lakewood Reunion is $20 at the door, or $15 if tickets are purchased in advance.
For more information, or to buy tickets, visit www.georgiaracinghof.com
Brandon Reed is the editor and publisher of Georgia Racing History.com.
Questions, comments, suggestions? Email us!
This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame or the Georgia Auto Racing Hall of Fame Association, Inc. All content is the intellectual property of the individual authors. All opinions are those of the individual authors. Please do not repost images or text without permission.