Category Archives: Feature Stories

Printed History Yields Georgia Racing Treasures

The front page of the March 20, 1968 edition of Rebel Racing News features Leon Sells winning at Atlanta's Lakewood Speedway. Photos by Mike Bell

The front page of the March 20, 1968 edition of Rebel Racing News features Leon Sells winning at Atlanta’s Lakewood Speedway. Photos by Mike Bell

By Brandon Reed
Posted in Feature Stories 1/6/15

When you’re searching for tiny little snippets of racing history, one of your best friends is the newspaper.

Whether it’s the local paper from an area that was populated with little dirt bullrings after World War II or a regional motorsports newspaper, they all help us to piece together the story of racing over the years.

GA Racing Hall Of Famer Charlie Padgett Passes

Georgia Racing Hall of Famer Charlie Padgett, who was a championship winning driver at Athens Speedway, Toccoa Speedway and the Peach Bowl, among others, passed away on Friday, Aug. 16 at the age of 80. Photo courtesy GRHOF Archives

GRHOF member Charlie Padgett passed away on Friday, Aug. 16 at the age of 80. Photo courtesy GRHOF Archives

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.

Visiting The Southeast Georgia Timing Association Reunion

Former drag racers gathered in Savannah for the Southeast Georgia Timing Association 2012 reunion. Photo by Mike Bell

By Mike Bell
Posted in Feature Stories 9/8/12

When you start out at 6 AM to a new place, you always hope that it is worth it. After about four hours in the road, I found Gregory Park in Richmond Hill, near Savannah, GA. Not having been to Gregory Park before, I did not know where to go. At first, I went to an open-air pavilion but saw a bunch of kids and knew I was in the wrong place. But wait! There are two street rods headed to a small closed building. It was 87 degrees at 10 and I knew the worst was yet to come.

Lakewood Speedway Remembered At Fifth Annual Reunion

Former drivers and fans gathered on Aug. 11 for the fifth annual Lakewood
Speedway reunion at the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame. Photo by Mike Terrell

By Brandon Reed
Posted in Feature Stories 8/24/12

For the fifth straight year, former competitors and fans of the famed Lakewood Speedway, which was located in Atlanta, GA, gathered on Aug. 11 at the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame in Dawsonville, GA to remember the track that was known as “The Indianapolis of the South.” Among those in attendance were Georgia Racing Hall of Fame members Charlie Mincey, Rex White, Roz Howard, Charlie Bagwell, Bruce Brantley, Luther Carter, Jack Jackson, along with a host of other former drivers, mechanics, and racing enthusiasts.

Owens, Mosteller To Be Honored At Lakewood Reunion

The historic Lakewood Speedway will be remembered on August 11 during the fifth annual Lakewood Speedway Reunion at the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame in Dawsonville, GA. Photo courtesy GRHOF

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.

The Cooper Brothers – A Georgia Racing Family

Driver Harvey Jones, and car owners, builders and mechanics Johnny Cooper and James Cooper with their race car at the Thunderbowl Speedway in Valdosta, GA.

By Mike Bell
Posted in Feature Stories 7/27/12

Do you remember going through all those small South Georgia towns and seeing some kind of race car at a garage or gas station? This is the story of one of those little towns and three brothers that had a garage just like that. The place?  Ray City.  The time?  Late sixties into the seventies and later.  Johnny Cooper is the oldest and grew up fast in that little town. The Cooper brothers are, from oldest to youngest, Johnny (July 22, 1945), James (August 18, 1947) and Tommy (August 27, 1956 – who has always gone by the name Skeeter and prefers it that way. “My uncle gave me that name is what my mother told me”).

Racers Gather At North GA & Tennessee Racers Reunion

Friends and family gathered at the farm of Gordon Brown in Dalton on June 14th for the first North Georgia and Tennessee Racers Reunion. Photo by Mike Terrell

By Mike Bell
Posted in Feature Stories 7/20/12

All of Charlie Mincey’s, John Layton’s, Donald Tyson’s and Gordon Brown’s hard work gave everybody that came to the First Annual North Georgia and Tennessee Racers Reunion the greatest time they could have had at any reunion.

The Short But Successful Career Of Bernard Long

Dawsonville, Georgia native Bernard Long recorded his first win in the July 27, 1941 race at Daytona Beach. He never raced again after the win.

By Brandon Reed
Posted in Feature Stories 4/22/12

In the history of drivers from Dawsonville, Georgia to win at Daytona Beach, four men scored wins on the sands of Daytona between 1941 and 1959.

The exploits Gober Sosebee, Roy Hall, and Lloyd Seay are well documented. Their stories have been told time and time again, and each has a rightful place in the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame.  In fact, all three were members of the inaugural class of inductees in 2002.

Memories Of Athens Speedway Live On

The Athens Speedway in Athens, GA, seen here from 1966,closed in 1992, but lives on in the memories of those that will gather at the third annual Athens Speedway Reunion this weekend.

By Brandon Reed
Posted in Feature Stories 4/14/12

It’s been almost 20 years since the lights went out for the final time at one of the most popular and successful short tracks in Georgia history.

The Athens Speedway, located on old Jimmie Daniel Road in Athens, Georgia, saw its final race in 1992 after over 30 years of action.  Today, the track sits abandoned, mostly forgotten by people in Athens.

Billie Hester And The Cherokee Garage

Billie Hester (left) and Gober Sosebee (right) following a win at Daytona Beach in 1950. Both are now in the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame.

By Eddie Samples
Posted in Feature Stories 3/24/12

Georgia’s Billie “Sunday” Hester was named after the famous American evangelist Billy Sunday, whose preaching against the selling of liquor made him a major player in the passage of the Eighteenth Amendment (prohibition) in 1919.

Our Billie Sunday lives by the same ethics…to a degree.

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