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Racing hall honors this years inductees
5 Induction Ceremony pic
Dan, Bill and Ernie Elliott accepted an award in honor of their late father George Elliott who was inducted Friday night in the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame. - photo by Michele Hester Dawson Community News

Ask brothers Ernie, Dan and Bill Elliott and they'll agree their dad George Elliott should have been named to the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame years ago.

"He was instrumental in a lot of people's careers in racing, especially ours," said Ernie Elliott. "It was just a sport that he loved. If it wouldn't have been for him getting it started, starting us in it, we wouldn't have been able to accomplish what we did."

Appearing on stage at the 2011 Georgia Racing Hall of Fame banquet, Dawsonville's legendary NASCAR brothers accepted their father's induction into the hall Friday night in Dawsonville.

"I just wish he could be here to be a part of this. It would have been a fantastic day," said NASCAR champion Bill Elliott. "He has sacrificed so much, not only for myself and Ernie and Dan, but a lot of things he did in his life, he gave up a lot of what he could do for himself to other people."

Both Ernie and Bill Elliott are already members of the racing hall of fame.

Also inducted Friday night was Mike Head, Harold Kite, Swayne Pritchett and Ken Ragan for their contributions to Georgia's racing heritage.

Sprint Cup driver David Ragan was on hand to support his father, Ken Ragan.

"Dad's been a part of the sport in many ways, driving at a NASCAR level, driving at a local level, owning racetracks, promoting the Legend cars racing," David Ragan said.

"If it wasn't for dad, I would not have been racing. For me as a young kid, he was a good coach. Things like that were big influences, positive influences for me being a better racecar driver."

Ken Ragan said having his family and friends made the evening special.

"A lot of family has been involved with me over the years and I have a lot of family that are here tonight. The rest of the people in this room are friends of mine that helped us along the way," he said. "I've got a lot of people in this room that gave me encouragement, spent money on David, gave us places to stay, equipment to use, cars to race with. Being with this group of family and friends makes it special."

The Georgia Racing Hall of Fame also honored Gordon Pirkle for his dedication to the hall, Bubba Pollard as driver of the year and JB Day, who received the Annie Dean Samples Spirit Award.

"JB, he is the biggest racing fan there is," Pirkle said. "At the age of 11, he rode his bike from Greenville, SC to Georgia to see his first race at Lakewood Speedway. The biggest fan there is."