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Fast 15 racing hall of fame semi-finalists announced
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The Georgia Racing Hall of Fame has announced the Fast 15 semi-finalists for its 2015 class.

The semi-finalists are chosen by a panel of 30 Georgia racing experts.

This year's top vote is C.L. Pritchett, of Baldwin, one of the nation's all-time great dirt-track drivers.

Pritchett, who received 20 votes, raced from 1967 to 1990 and amassed a win total of between 800 and 1,000 and finished in the top 10 in more than 90 percent of his races, according to racing historians.

Second on the list with 19 votes is the late Billy Clanton, a dirt racer and car builder from Riverdale.

Clanton saw his three sons follow him into the sport and continue his legacy. His son Joey raced in NASCAR's Camping World Truck Series and Xfinity Series, while his son Shane is the current points leader of the World of Outlaws Late Model Series.

Also among the Fast 15 are two of the best female racers ever to take to the track.

Tammy Jo Kirk of Dalton was a successful flat-track motorcycle racer who moved to stock cars and won the 1994 Snowball Derby, short-track asphalt racing's premier event. She also raced in NASCAR's Camping World Truck Series and the Xfinity Series.

Ethel Flock Mobley joined her brothers Fonty, Bob and Tim on the dirt tracks of the early days of the sport.

Also on the list are Jim Downing, an accomplished driver who also worked with his brother-in-law to build and market the HANS Device; renowned engine builder James Lyle; multi-time track champion Mike Love; dirt legend Stan Massey and short-track legend Jabez Jones.

Joining them are Russell Nelson, Harold Fountain, Sam Sommers, Harold Fryar and Dick Anderson.

For many Fast 15 voters, choosing just 15 from the 50 candidates proved more difficult than expected. It seems that there are far more Georgia racing legends than many realize.

"Picking only 15 was tough," said veteran sports journalist Ed Hinton, a first-time hall of fame voter. "I wanted to nominate about 20. My eyeballs hurt from reviewing all the records, over and over."

Hinton said he eventually settled on two major factors.

"I narrowed it down by two criteria: races won and pure showmanship -- that is, contributing to the color of Georgia motorsports," he said.

The Fast 15 were chosen from a list of 50 nominees. The voting now moves to a 20-member panel that will select the five that will be inducted into the hall of fame during a 2 p.m. ceremony Nov. 14 at the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame in Dawsonville.