By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support local journalism.
Raymond Parks to be inducted this weekend
A-Raymond Parks pic1
Parks is pictured next to a car used in the early days of NASCAR - photo by File photo

This weekend Dawsonville native Raymond Parks will be officially etched into the granite of NASCAR history when he is inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C.

The ceremony will be held at 8 p.m., Jan. 20 at the Charlotte Convention Center.

In May the announcement came that Parks would posthumously be a part of the 2017 class, joining fellow Dawsonville native Bill Elliott. 

Parks died June 20,2010 at the age of 96.

The voting panel for the hall of fame met and voted on 20 eligible nominees in the spring of last year and Parks garnered one of the top five spots.

Parks, who was born in Dawsonville in 1914, ran away from home at 14 years old.

He went to work for two men making liquor and quickly learned to profit from the opportunities they offered him, according to local historian and president of the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame Gordon Pirkle.

The lucrative opportunities running moonshine paved the way to his eventual business holdings and future as a team owner.

Parks saved his money as a young man and purchased his uncle's garage in Atlanta by age 18.

According to Pirkle, the story goes that he was a millionaire by 21.

Parks is known as the first successful NASCAR team owner-the first two official NASCAR championships were won by one of Park's drivers, Red Byron in 1948 and 1949.

"He won the very first trophy NASCAR gave away. Raymond Parks got the first win as an owner," Pirkle said in May.

Even though his team competed for only four seasons, they produced two premier series wins, two poles, 11 top fives and 12 top-10s in 18 events, according to NASCAR.

The World War II vet was a part of the Battle of the Bulge in Belgium where he was awarded a Good Conduct Medal and a Distinguished Unit Badge.

Before and after the war, he also did some racing of his own.

Parks was a part of the now famous meeting at the Streamline Hotel in Daytona Beach in 1947 where drivers, owners, promoters and mechanics gathered to talk about the future of the sport. The result was the start of NASCAR as it is known today.

In 2002 Parks was part of the inaugural class of the GRHOF and in 2009 he was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame.

The other four inductees for the 2017 class include Richard Childress, Rick Hendrick, Mark Martin and Benny Parsons.