Race cars line the front straight and stretch through turns 3 and 4 at Dixie Speedway. The dirt track in Woodstock will soon celebrate its 50th anniversary, and under the ownership of racing promotor Mickey Swims, Dixie Speedway has thrived over the past four decades. The track still hosts stock car racing every Saturday night from the spring to the fall of every year. (Photo courtesy of Dixie Speedway.)
By Larry Cavender
With last week's running of the Daytona 500, NASCAR kicked off its 71st season. This week, NASCAR moves closer to home with a 500 mile race set for Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia just south of Atlanta.
Last week, the Pickens County Progress documented stock car racing's early rural, Southern roots, and although there are no superspeedways located in the immediate north Georgia area, racing also took root locally at about the same time NASCAR began to flourish.
Many of NASCAR's most venerated speedways are located within a few hour’s drive from Pickens County, including Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia, Talledega in Alabama, Bristol in Tennessee, and Charlotte in North Carolina. Many local racing fans have combined racing with a beach vacation by traveling on Labor Day weekend to Darlington, South Carolina, just a one-hour drive from Myrtle Beach, for the Southern 500, or to Daytona Beach on the Fourth of July.
See full feature story about racing's local roots in this week's print or online editions