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Columbus Speedway - Columbus, Georgia


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#1 HistoricMustang

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 17:58

NASCAR visited in 1951 with a win by Tim Flock

http://www.racing-re...o/tracks?id=038

Henry

1949
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1955
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1958

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#2 Terry Walker

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Posted 25 April 2008 - 09:15

Couldn't find this one - not enough info.

#3 HistoricMustang

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Posted 25 April 2008 - 11:15

Originally posted by Terry Walker
Couldn't find this one - not enough info.


Hi Terry! :cool:

This is Muscogee County with the red line indicating northern most boundry. I believe the track is located just about on the county line (maybe somewhat south or north) in the area indicated by yellow arrow.

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Thanks for all of your help. :up:

Henry

#4 fvebr

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Posted 25 April 2008 - 13:06

Found it... All forest covered now on GE but you can still see the Oval....

The road going North is BLACKMON ROAD and the road going left is HANCOCK ROAD

Lat 32°34'21.36"N
Lon 84°54'4.28"W

Here is the LINK link on google maps


Regards.

Francois

#5 Terry Walker

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Posted 25 April 2008 - 15:00

Wow! seriously sharp eyesight there. I looked all around that locality and missed it completely! As you say, well forested over.


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#6 GeoffE

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Posted 25 April 2008 - 15:36

Any idea what this is? (just a few miles from Columbus)

http://www.flasheart...=17&r=0&src=ggl

#7 HistoricMustang

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Posted 25 April 2008 - 23:40

Originally posted by Terry Walker
well forested over.


Most former tracks here in the Southeast (US) fall into this catagory. Pine trees are ruthless!!

Thanks again gentlemen.

Believe we have identified early overhead photographs of every Georgia track that held events at the top level, except Atlanta Motor Speedway. Am still digging on that one, plus early overhead photographs of Road Atlanta/Lanier Speedway. I will also put up Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah because of SCCA activity.

Also, a mystery track that was close to downtown Atlanta on the river has been discovered........perhaps. Here it is:

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Any ideas from the members, or perhaps this was not a racing facility?

Henry

#8 Terry Walker

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Posted 26 April 2008 - 02:17

This is an overlay of the old pic on the current pic:

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#9 Hugewally

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Posted 26 April 2008 - 02:29

NW Atlanta between the Chattahoochee River and I-285 and only about one mile SW from the McDonough power plant smokestack.

33 48 57 21N
84 29 12 14W

S Cobb Dr to the NE
Railroad bridge to the SE

Its now a lake running east-west.

#10 Cynic2

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Posted 26 April 2008 - 14:18

Going somewhat off-topic, the bridge in the photo is where Wayne Williams was stopped after allegedly dumping at least one body from the Atlanta child murders in 1981. That arrest eventually led to his conviction as the Atlanta child murderer.

That's an awfully short track. My guess is that it may be a running track, although I don't recall a school in the area (the sheds to the are probably part of the brick works in that area). I think a karting track might be another possibility. If I have a chance I might drive over there today (and try to avoid getting my car jacked).

dgs

#11 Cynic2

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Posted 26 April 2008 - 19:50

The possibility of a track gave me a good reason to get out this afternoon.
The area of the track is still there, overgrown with trees and kudzu and
such. It’s impossible to (legally) get close enough to see if there is
anything remaining, or what the surface might have been.

There is no school in the area -- Elmwood Drive and Elmwood Circle are
an older subdivision, possible from the ‘50s or so. (The first few houses
show up in the original photo.) The other side of the track, on Riverview
Drive, is light to medium industrial.

From the overlay, the part of Elmwood Drive which goes back to the area
of the track seems to completely unpaved, and overgrown, and unused in
some years. It is cut off by a locked gate between the two houses on
Elmwood Circle.

Again on the overlay, the two buildings which back up to the “track” on
Riverview Drive SE are the Riverview Recycling Company, at 5703
Riverview Drive. No one was there -- I would have like to asked if they have
any idea what is or was back there (other than examples of every snake
species native to the North American continent).

This photo of the area was shot today, going a short distance into the
area from between the two buildings at Riverview Recycling.


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#12 Hugewally

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Posted 26 April 2008 - 20:21

Nice to see you out and about on a nice day...

Will you be around the Mitty next week?

#13 Cynic2

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Posted 26 April 2008 - 23:37

No, we're at Infineon next weekend, and I am back to work.

Actually, I haven't been to the Mitty in years, er, in this century. Actually, I'm not sure I've been since the early 1980s. Did you know it was originally organized by the Atlanta regions of the Aston Martin, Jaguar, and Ferrari clubs?

#14 Hugewally

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Posted 27 April 2008 - 02:01

You're showing your age...

Though I do have a pic of you in one of those programs of so long ago... :lol:

#15 Cynic2

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Posted 27 April 2008 - 02:23

If it's the one with my 206 SP, that really was long ago. By coincidence, I just came across that program in the past couple of weeks.

Sometime when you're in Atlanta (and I am too) you really will have to come by. I have been getting rid of an immense amount of old stuff -- all my old race files, for example. (Nothing there you'd want -- you don't need to see all my old hotel bills and such.) Two friends took 14 boxes (literally) of files and magazines out of my office, and my wife said she couldn't see the difference. Sadly, there was a lot of truth in that.

Years ago, when Jonathan Thompson lived in Laguna Niguel and was getting rid of his models, literature, brochures, photos, etc., I asked him how he could go that; after spending so much time building up a collection, why dispose of it? Now I've arrived at that point, though. I'm just burned out, and I understand how Jon felt.

dgs

(I just realized: I don't have the program, rather copies of the local Jaguar Club magazine, which covered the event. This must have been 1979 or '80.)

#16 HistoricMustang

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Posted 27 April 2008 - 12:44

Photographs from last years Mitty, about 1/3 rd down the page.

Henry

http://www.hsrrace.c...SR/photogal.nsf

#17 MPea3

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Posted 28 April 2008 - 14:12

Originally posted by Cynic2

That's an awfully short track. My guess is that it may be a running track, although I don't recall a school in the area (the sheds to the are probably part of the brick works in that area). I think a karting track might be another possibility. If I have a chance I might drive over there today (and try to avoid getting my car jacked).

dgs


Dave,

From the partially built housing on Elmwood Circle and your dating it in the 50's I assume that's when the photo is from. When did karting become a big thing in the US and in Georgia? It could also have been a leftover midget track, as midget racing was somewhat big in Atlanta in the late 40's.

I've put the word out with a couple of friends who raced in the Atlanta area back then, maybe I'll have some luck.

Also, a free beer to the first person who knows what this little gem is, just west of Powder Springs, GA. You've got to come to Atlanta to collect the beer though.

#18 Cynic2

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Posted 28 April 2008 - 14:36

I'm not going for the beer, but for years there was a sign on Powder Springs Highway at that intersection, pointing to the track (and identifying it). Wasn't there a zoning fight or something like that?

dgs

#19 MPea3

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Posted 28 April 2008 - 15:31

Oh come on Dave, this Schlitz had your name written all over it.

Yes there was a sign there for years, but no, there was no zoning fight.

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#20 Terry Walker

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Posted 28 April 2008 - 15:47

Looks a lot like a velodrome.

#21 HistoricMustang

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Posted 28 April 2008 - 19:52

That thing has got "Olympics 1996" written all over it. :drunk:

Henry

#22 MPea3

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Posted 28 April 2008 - 20:05

Originally posted by Terry Walker
Looks a lot like a velodrome.


Originally posted by HistoricMustang
That thing has got "Olympics 1996" written all over it.

Henry


No to both. It's asphalt with 6 degree banking. It's last race was in November of 1990.

#23 Jim Thurman

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Posted 28 April 2008 - 20:57

Too small for a velodrome, and not enough banking.

A quarter midget track...one your kids race on MPea3?;)

As far as the "mystery" track, a quick check of Allan E. Brown's "The History of America's Speedways - Past & Present" doesn't turn up anything obvious.

It isn't that small. Looks to be a 1/4 or 1/5 mile, which are very common short track lengths. It sure looks to me like an auto track. Look at the road in and the areas that appear to be for parking and pits. Certainly wouldn't need those for a running track (and if it's running track length, that would be a 1/4!).

Henry, what year on that first b&w photo you posted?

#24 HistoricMustang

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Posted 28 April 2008 - 21:09

Originally posted by Jim Thurman

Henry, what year on that first b&w photo you posted?


Jim, 1960 on the "mystery track" photograph.

Let me see if an earlier can be located to pinpoint an approximate build date.

Henry

#25 MPea3

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Posted 28 April 2008 - 21:09

Originally posted by Jim Thurman
Too small for a velodrome, and not enough banking.

A quarter midget track...one your kids race on MPea3?;)

As far as the "mystery" track, a quick check of Allan E. Brown's "The History of America's Speedways - Past & Present" doesn't turn up anything obvious.

It isn't that small. Looks to be a 1/4 or 1/5 mile, which are very common short track lengths. It sure looks to me like an auto track. Look at the road in and the areas that appear to be for parking and pits. Certainly wouldn't need those for a running track (and if it's running track length, that would be a 1/4!).

Henry, what year on that first b&w photo you posted?



*ding*ding*ding* We have a winner!

Yes, that was the original track for the Metro Atlanta Quarter Midget Association which ran there from the mid-1970's until it's last race in November of 1989 (I wrote the wrong date earlier... damn old age). And yes, my son Jeff ran his first race there in August of '89 at the ripe age of 5 years and one week, finishing 4th out of 4 in the novice race. He got better. In 1992-1996 we had the fun of racing Reed Sorenson on a weekly basis and beating him often, usually with lesser equipment. They were fun days.

The Light Modified race that first day was won by a 14 year old by the name of Jimmy Kite.

We ran 5 races there before MAQMA opened it's new track in 1990 at a county built facility a few miles away which lasted some 10 or so years before being taken back by the county and used for a new building. MAQMA now runs at Lanier Speedway across Hwy 53 from Road Atlanta

Jeff outgrew quarter midgets at the age of 12, thank God. He now is a Doctoral student in math at Tulane University, a much better and safer living than had he tried to make racing a career.

#26 Jim Thurman

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Posted 28 April 2008 - 21:11

Originally posted by HistoricMustang


Most former tracks here in the Southeast (US) fall into this catagory. Pine trees are ruthless!!

Thanks again gentlemen.

Believe we have identified early overhead photographs of every Georgia track that held events at the top level, except Atlanta Motor Speedway.


Yes, certainly a lot easier finding tracks in the Western U.S. as they don't have a tendency to get overgrown.

Henry, have you checked Greg Fielden's books or the NASCAR Encyclopedia for a listing of all Georgia tracks that hosted NASCAR GN/Cup races? (or for that matter, http://www.racing-reference.info/ ).

How about I-75 Speedway in Valdosta? (I found that one ;) )

Or for signifigant short tracks, how about the Atlanta Speedway? Located at Paces Ferry and The Chattahoochee River. Look for aerials from 20's or 30's. A rarity for the time, a paved oval and a high banked one at that. One of the few in the country between the wars. EDIT - the second edition of Brown's "The History of America's Speedways - Past & Present" has Atlanta Speedway as a dirt track, not paved...sorry!

And the Lithonia Speedway (a.k.a. Lithonia-DeKalb Speedway). I found this one too, though any trace seems to have disappeared under suburban development in just the last few years. This was a track for black drivers. Among them, Charlie Scott, who was the first black driver to start a race in NASCAR's top series*. Check aerials from 50's on. It was a short distance North of Lithonia.

*as far as we know.

#27 HistoricMustang

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Posted 28 April 2008 - 21:47

Jim, lets get some help from the members as they could spend hours here searching for these tracks.

I have yet to find Valdosta.

http://dbs.galib.uga...ml/georgia.html

As for Charlie Scott............................. :wave:

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Henry

#28 Terry Walker

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 04:15

There is a Race Track Road, Valdosta off I75 , linking I75 to Madison Highway (R31) just south of the airport.

A clue?

#29 Jim Thurman

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 23:24

Originally posted by Terry Walker
There is a Race Track Road, Valdosta off I75 , linking I75 to Madison Highway (R31) just south of the airport.

A clue?


That's it Terry...

It only shows up as a very faint outline of part of an oval (turn 2 and backstraight) in more recent aerials.

#30 MPea3

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Posted 01 May 2008 - 02:00

I received an email back from Harry Robinson regarding the mystery track by the river and the Lithonia track. I've quoted his letter. Sadly the racial slur was commonplace for how blacks were referred to well into the 60's in Atlanta.


Mark,

I talked with Joe Gazaway today.... he thinks this was a horse track. He doesn't know of any race track in this area, but said in the late 50's and early 60's there were a bunch of horse farms in that area. Could be, since there are no grandstands. Also in the later photos there are some buildings and trying to size things up it looks like the track may have been an 1/8 of a mile or so. Pretty small for cars.

As far as the Lithonia Track, he remembered, and said back then it was referred to as the "nigger track." He said Charlie Scott, Geore & Ben Muckel raced there. Some of the cars were provided by Pete Rogers who built cars for Roscoe Thompson. As far as he could remember the track ran in the 40's after the war. Apparently this was several years prior to the Sugar Bowl Track I wrote you about. He was not sure as to the exact location but thought it was just off Hwy. 78 near Lithonia.

By the way, he said Charlie was one hell of a driver.

Hope this is some help.

Harry


#31 rblanton

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Posted 24 May 2009 - 03:08

There is a RE RACace Track Road, Valdosta off I75 , linking I75 to Madison Highway (R31) just south of the airport.

A clue?

THIS WAS THE LOCATION OF I 75 SPEEDWAY IN VALDOSTA GA. IT WAS IN OPERATION IN THE EARLYTO MID 60S. IT WAS A VERY NICE TRACK,

#32 HDonaldCapps

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Posted 24 May 2009 - 08:23

In an early issue of "Speed Age," there were several photos from an event at Lithonia in either 1947 or 1948, probably among the few, if not the only, photographs of Black drivers in the magazine. The brief information with the three pictures mentions a "Negro racing league" or something similar, I will have to check on the exact wording.

#33 HistoricMustang

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Posted 24 May 2009 - 10:24

Hi Don,
My memory is slipping as I past through 60 years of age but it seems to me one of the tracks associated with Lithonia, Georgia was actually referred to as a "Black" racing facility with a regular racing program.

It seems this was talked a bit when we tried to address the confusion of tracks in the Atlanta, Georgia area in another thread.

Others?

Henry