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Racing history revived at hall
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Dawsonvilles Spencer Davis, a 12-year-old Pro Trucks Series and Limited Late Model driver, signs an autograph for Ean Hall on Saturday during the Georgia Racing Hall of Fames grand reopening celebration. - photo by Michele Hester Dawson Community News

Dawsonville’s storied racing history revved up Saturday morning as volunteers with the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame celebrated the museum’s grand reopening.

“We’re very proud of what we have here in Dawsonville,” said Gordon Pirkle, president of the hall of fame.

“This is the best kept secret in Dawsonville. People just don’t know what all is in here.”

The celebration followed about two years of renovations to the museum, which pays tributes to Dawsonville’s racing contributions.

Exhibits cover everything from the early moonshine haulers who spawned what would become NASCAR to local young drivers who keep the sport alive.

The museum also showcases former champion Bill Elliott’s rise to fame and details a timeline of his Dawson County family’s success in the sport.

An area of the museum was recently dedicated to the racing legend’s son Chase, who at age 15, has already made a name for himself driving for Hendricks Motorsports. 

Dawsonville’s Spencer Davis, a 12-year-old Pro Trucks Series and Limited Late Model driver who signed autographs Saturday, said the hall of fame’s commitment to young racers made him proud to have the museum in his hometown. 

“I think it’s real cool that I get to be in the museum,” he said.

Mayor Joe Lane Cox called the reopening “a great day for Dawsonville and a great day for Dawson County.”

“I’m really proud of all the volunteers. All that you see here today is put together by volunteers,” he said.

Mayor Pro-tem James Grogan, who represents the city on the museum’s board, said Dawsonville should expect an influx of visitors to follow.

“I believe with the addition of the Dawsonville Moonshine Distillery coming in October, people will be coming into the city and wanting to participate in things that are going on.”