By Brandon Reed
Posted in Feature Stories 8/18/13
Charlie Padgett, racing champion and a member of the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame, passed away on Friday, Aug. 16.
Padgett, of Jasper, GA was one of five racing brothers. He started his racing career in Dalton, GA, in the early 1950s, and would compete across North Georgia over the next few years. In 1956, he won the Southern Racing Enterprises Modified championship while racing at Toccoa Speedway in Toccoa, GA, the Peach Bowl in Atlanta, Banks County Speedway near Baldwin, GA, Gainesville Speedway in Gainesville, GA, as well as at tracks in Canton, Georgia and Dallas Georgia.
Padgett competed at many tracks during his career, but had a special talent for navigating the famed Athens Speedway in Athens, GA. He scored the July 4 Mid-Season Championship in 1964 and 1966, along with scoring wins in the Labor Day championship races in 1964 and 1965. He was also a strong competitor at the legendary Dixie Speedway in Woodstock, GA and at Rome Speedway in Rome, GA.
Padgett hung up his helmet for good in 1980. One year later, he and his wife Wylene opened Airport Mini Speedway, a go cart track in Jasper, GA. They would operate the track for the next 20 years.
Padgett was inducted into the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame in 2008, and would remain a mainstay at Hall of Fame events and racers reunions, including the annual Athens Speedway Reunion, for the rest of his life.
Charlie Padgett was 80 years of age.
Funeral services are scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 18 at 2 pm at the Salem Baptist Church. Interment will follow at the church cemetery. For more information, visit www.roperfuneralhome.com.
Brandon Reed is the editor and publisher of Georgia Racing History.com.
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