‘Trying to keep the racing history alive’: Track drivers reunite
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Racers from the old Augusta International Raceway reunited at the site of the former NASCAR track on Saturday.
The track is still there, located in the middle of the Diamond Lakes neighborhood in Hephzibah.
In the 1960s, it hosted NASCAR’s top division. The track fell on hard times and is now closed, but organizers and former racers are trying to keep its history alive.
Look at Diamond Lakes Regional Park from above and you can still see Augusta International Raceway.
“It was the fastest road course in the United States,” said Harvey Tollison, president of the the Augusta International Raceway Preservation Society.
He worked at the track during its heyday.
He says it was very unique for NASCAR. A three mile track with left and right banked turns.
After more than fifty years, it’s still here ... behind people’s homes, next to and as a part of existing public roads.
“We’re trying to keep the racing history alive,” said Tollison. “It’s getting difficult. The ones from this track are dying left and right.”
Tollison invited former racers to the old complex for a reunion. Some drivers still think about what could’ve been.
“It’d be unreal,” said Harold Fountain, who competed in NASCAR. “Real estate would be so high out here, you couldn’t believe what could’ve happened if it was going today, what it could turn into.”
Tollison thinks it could’ve been our area’s second biggest event, right behind the Masters.
While the track continues to fade away, he hopes its history never fades away.
“We’re losing it by the day... and I don’t want to lose it any faster than we’re losing it.”
Tollison says he’s had discussions with the county and he hopes to add more historical markers to Diamond Lakes Regional Park, including some of the track’s original signage.
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