High Point Museum Celebrates City’s Racing History

Racing

By Teresa Loflin

This summer, the High Point Museum is celebrating the City of High Point’s racing history with an exhibit, community events and historical markers. “When Racing Was Racing” focuses on the early days of stock car racing. The careers of the High Point drivers, Fred Harb, Bill Blair, Sr., Bob Welborn, Jimmie Lewallen, Ken Rush, and Jim Paschal, are highlighted. It features photographs and memorabilia on loan from Bill Blair, Jr.

Join the High Point Museum Saturday, August 26, as we continue to commemorate our racing history. The day begins at 10 a.m. with a cruise-in by Johnny Handy, who drove at Tri City Speedway, in a 1939 Ford Coupe #0; Bill Blair, Jr. driving a 1953 Oldsmobile tribute car that won ‘53 Daytona race for Bill Blair, Sr.; and Jimmy Hailey driving a replica of Bobby Allison’s AMC Matador.

At 12 p.m. the unveiling of historical markers for our two tracks – High Point Speedway, a one-mile dirt track that featured a tunnel entrance that was built by the Baity Brothers, and Tri City Speedway, a half mile red dirt track built by Bill and Bob Blair. Drivers and local dignitaries will be on hand. Buz McKim, historian for the NASCAR Hall of Fame, will be the moderator for a panel discussion from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. that will include drivers and family members involved with the speedways.

Author Rick Houston will be here from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. to discuss his new book “Dale Versus Daytona: The Intimidator’s Quest to Win the Great American Race.”

This book features research and a year-by-year look at each of Dale Earnhardt’s Daytona 500s from 1979 through 2001.

“Many of the newcomers and younger people in High Point have no idea that these old tracks once drew thousands of spectators to see well-known stock car race drivers,” Edith Brady, Museum Director, said. “This event is a fun way to keep this history alive.”

The High Point Museum, a division of the High Point Public Library, is dedicated to sharing Greater High Point’s history, providing perspective for current issues, and strengthening the sense of community. Museum hours are: Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Historical Park open Saturday 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Museum summer hours: Sunday 1-4:30 p.m. High Point Museum is location at 1859 E. Lexington Avenue, High Point.

Teresa Loflin is the Community Relations Director of the High Point Museum. For more information, visit www.highpointnc.gov.

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