George Elliott, late resident of Dawson County and father of NASCAR great Bill Elliott, headlines the 2011 class of inductees to the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame.
Mike Head, Harold Kite, Swayne Pritchett and Ken Ragan will join Elliott as the newest members of the hall.
Born in Dawson County and raised in the War Hill area, George Elliott is the father of Bill, Ernie and Dan Elliott, and grandfather of the late Casey Elliott and rising star Chase Elliott.
Both Ernie and Bill Elliott are already members of the hall of fame, and local racing historian Gordon Pirkle believes it's past time for their father to join them.
"It's too long coming, in my opinion," Pirkle said. "George should have went in at the beginning. He's well-deserved of being in the hall of fame because he did so much for racing."
Elliott owned a racing team in the early days of NASCAR, and sponsored many different drivers before his son Bill grew old enough to race.
Although George Elliott never drove in NASCAR, he grew up learning about cars while working on area farms, and owned the Dahlonega Ford Dealership in addition to a building supply business.
His building supply business grew prosperous due to the tin he sold to local chicken farmers during the industry's boom in the mid-1900s.
But his first love was always racing.
"He always fooled with cars," Pirkle added. "He grew up in [racing]. He wasn't in the liquor business, but he knew all them boys."
Pirkle credits Elliott's shrewd business sense for the success he had in NASCAR as an owner and sponsor.
"George had real principles, he was a good person, a good man," Pirkle said. "I used to kid him that if he hadn't been a fanatic about racing, he probably would have owned north Georgia."
The annual induction and banquet ceremony for the inductees will be held at 6 p.m. Oct. 21 at the hall, located at 415 Hwy. 53 East.
There are a limited number of tickets available for the ceremony.
To purchase tickets, call (706) 216-7223. For more information, visit www.thunderroadusa.com.