Georgia Magazine - August 2011 - (Page 21)

the Atlanta area racing Bandoleros and Legends cars, which attracts drivers as young as 8. When he was 12, Logano won a record 14 consecutive races at AMS driving a Legends car. Logano parlayed those early successes into a nascent career in Sprint Cup, driving a car sponsored by The Home Depot. The Nationwide division of NASCAR, often considered the minor leagues, attracts young drivers being groomed for the Sprint Cup Series as well as Sprint Cup veterans. Peachtree City’s Reed Sorenson is racing for a Nationwide Series championship this year after spending a few seasons in NASCAR’s top division. Sorenson raced Legends cars for five years at AMS, winning the track championship three times. In another racing division, the Camping World-sponsored Truck Series, brothers Shane and Ryan Sieg, from Tucker, are among the featured drivers. On the shoulders of giants Although NASCAR attracts top drivers from around the world, drivers from the Peach State should have a special pride that comes from their famous forebears, who helped lay the foundation for the sport. Asa Candler, of Coca-Cola fame, opened a speedway in 1909 on the site of what’s now Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, but it failed a year later. After serving as Atlanta’s mayor from 1916 to 1919, he offered the land to the city for an airport site during the ’20s. It was originally called Candler Field before being renamed in the late ’40s and eventually became the world’s busiest airport. The city of Atlanta got the racing bug nearly a decade after Candler when it opened a one-mile dirt track adjacent to the Lakewood Fairgrounds in 1917. Called the “Indianapolis of the South,” Lakewood Speedway hosted horse, motorcycle and car racing until it fell into disuse in the ’70s. Parts of the speedway still can be seen amid the Aaron’s August 2011 Amphitheatre at Lakewood. Lakewood hosted NASCAR races during the 1950s, until AMS opened in 1960. It was the scene of a famous incident in 1959, when Richard Petty was declared the winner of the final NASCAR Grand National race at the track, recalls longtime racing writer Rick Minter. However, second-place finisher Lee Petty, Richard’s father, protested the result and was later declared the winner. The elder Petty won three championships during his career, and the younger Petty took 200 total NASCAR victories, earning him the moniker “King Richard.” The roots of NASCAR run right through Georgia, particularly Dawsonville, says Bill Elliott, who has started more than 825 Sprint Cup races over a 36-year career, notching 44 wins, one NASCAR championship and being named the sport’s most popular driver 16 times. Now 55, “Awesome Bill from Dawsonville” doesn’t get a chance to put on the fire suit much anymore, but the desire to compete still burns brightly. “I think Georgia deserves its props” in the evolution of NASCAR, Elliott says. “Most of the race teams are based out of Charlotte now, but Georgia will always have a place.” The next Georgian expected to take his place among NASCAR’s elite is Elliott’s son Chase, who’s just 15 but has a driver development deal with one of the best-regarded organizations in the sport. Chase already has trophies and a car on display in the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame. It’s right next to several of his father’s cars, including the one that set NASCAR’s all-time qualifying record, with a speed of 212.809 mph at the Talledega Superspeedway in 1987. Fellow Dawsonville driver Gober Sosebee holds another record that never will be surpassed: the speed record for the Daytona Beach course, where early sanctioned events were once held. The late Sosebee competed in NASCAR from 1949-1959. Moonshiners from the Appalachians were racing along riverbeds near Dawsonville in the mid-1930s, More online at www.georgiamagazine.org Peachtree City’s Reed Sorenson, who’s competing for the Nationwide Series championship this year, raced Legends cars for five years at Atlanta Motor Speedway, winning the track championship three times. says Gordon Pirkle, the Dawsonville resident best known for installing a siren outside his Dawsonville Pool Room that sounded whenever Elliott won a race. He’s already installed a siren for Chase and has had reason to use it. Bootlegger Parks already was a team owner known for immaculate machines meticulously prepared by Vogt when NASCAR was formed. His driver, Byron, one of NASCAR’s founders, won the first championship in 1949. These and other members of the “Georgia Gang” helped bring legitimacy to the sport and laid the foundations for what NASCAR calls the most popular spectator sport in the country. Matt Bolch is an Atlanta-based freelance writer. For more on NASCAR and legendary driver Rex White, of Atlanta, see page 34B in the web exclusive August 2011 online edition. 21 web exclusive http://www.georgiamagazine.org http://www.georgiamagazine.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia Magazine - August 2011

Georgia Magazine - August 2011
Table of Contents
Viewpoint
Mailbox
Picture This?
Georgia News
Calendar
Currents
Georgia's Energy Outlook
Southern speedsters
From humble to highfalutin
Second helping: Barbecue
Around Georgia
My Georgia
Snapshot
Snapshot Submissions
Meet legendary NASCAR driver Rex White
The history of Lake Lanier
Gardens plant of the month; Liberty notes
Energy-efficiency tips

Georgia Magazine - August 2011

Georgia Magazine - August 2011 - Georgia Magazine - August 2011 (Page Cover1)
Georgia Magazine - August 2011 - Georgia Magazine - August 2011 (Page Cover2)
Georgia Magazine - August 2011 - Georgia Magazine - August 2011 (Page 3)
Georgia Magazine - August 2011 - Table of Contents (Page 4)
Georgia Magazine - August 2011 - Viewpoint (Page 5)
Georgia Magazine - August 2011 - Mailbox (Page 6)
Georgia Magazine - August 2011 - Picture This? (Page 7)
Georgia Magazine - August 2011 - Georgia News (Page 8)
Georgia Magazine - August 2011 - Georgia News (Page 9)
Georgia Magazine - August 2011 - Georgia News (Page 10)
Georgia Magazine - August 2011 - Georgia News (Page 11)
Georgia Magazine - August 2011 - Calendar (Page 12)
Georgia Magazine - August 2011 - Calendar (Page 13)
Georgia Magazine - August 2011 - Calendar (Page 14)
Georgia Magazine - August 2011 - Calendar (Page 15)
Georgia Magazine - August 2011 - Currents (Page 16)
Georgia Magazine - August 2011 - Currents (Page 17)
Georgia Magazine - August 2011 - Georgia's Energy Outlook (Page 18)
Georgia Magazine - August 2011 - Southern speedsters (Page 19)
Georgia Magazine - August 2011 - Southern speedsters (Page 20)
Georgia Magazine - August 2011 - Southern speedsters (Page 21)
Georgia Magazine - August 2011 - From humble to highfalutin (Page 22)
Georgia Magazine - August 2011 - From humble to highfalutin (Page 23)
Georgia Magazine - August 2011 - From humble to highfalutin (Page 24)
Georgia Magazine - August 2011 - From humble to highfalutin (Page 25)
Georgia Magazine - August 2011 - From humble to highfalutin (Page 26)
Georgia Magazine - August 2011 - Second helping: Barbecue (Page 26A)
Georgia Magazine - August 2011 - Second helping: Barbecue (Page 26B)
Georgia Magazine - August 2011 - Second helping: Barbecue (Page 26C)
Georgia Magazine - August 2011 - Second helping: Barbecue (Page 26D)
Georgia Magazine - August 2011 - Second helping: Barbecue (Page 26E)
Georgia Magazine - August 2011 - Second helping: Barbecue (Page 26F)
Georgia Magazine - August 2011 - Second helping: Barbecue (Page 26G)
Georgia Magazine - August 2011 - Second helping: Barbecue (Page 26H)
Georgia Magazine - August 2011 - Around Georgia (Page 27)
Georgia Magazine - August 2011 - Around Georgia (Page 28)
Georgia Magazine - August 2011 - Around Georgia (Page 29)
Georgia Magazine - August 2011 - Around Georgia (Page 30)
Georgia Magazine - August 2011 - My Georgia (Page 31)
Georgia Magazine - August 2011 - My Georgia (Page 32)
Georgia Magazine - August 2011 - My Georgia (Page 33)
Georgia Magazine - August 2011 - Snapshot Submissions (Page 34)
Georgia Magazine - August 2011 - Snapshot Submissions (Page 34A)
Georgia Magazine - August 2011 - The history of Lake Lanier (Page 34B)
Georgia Magazine - August 2011 - Gardens plant of the month; Liberty notes (Page 34C)
Georgia Magazine - August 2011 - Energy-efficiency tips (Page 34D)
Georgia Magazine - August 2011 - Energy-efficiency tips (Page Cover3)
Georgia Magazine - August 2011 - Energy-efficiency tips (Page Cover4)
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