The votes are in, and the inductees into the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame class of 2009 have been chosen.
The 2009 inductees, Bob Burcham, Luther Carter, Tommie Irvin, Ronnie Sanders, Leon Sells, Buck Simmons, Herb “Tootle” Estes and Katron Sosebee, will be inducted at 6 p.m. Friday at the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame at the Dawsonville Municipal Complex.
Reservations are required to attend the induction ceremony.
For more information, call Dawsonville city hall at (706) 265-3256.
Bob Burcham of Rossville raced throughout the southeast, winning many times on the NASCAR Sportsman circuit, as well as making several starts on what is now the NASCAR Sprint Cup tour. His best finish in that division was a fourth at Nashville in 1974. Burcham passed away on April 10.
Luther Carter of Acworth started his career in 1969, and recorded wins across the southeast. He also won several asphalt events.
Herb “Tootle” Estes
Herb “Tootle” Estes was born and raised around Knoxville, Tenn., but is best known for his racing in the Athens area. Estes raced throughout the North Georgia/East Tennessee circuit. Estes died of a heart attack in 1982, just moments after picking up a feature win.
Tommie Irvin of Baldwin raced locally in the late ‘40s and early ‘50s, and was one of the first drivers to obtain a license from NASCAR shortly after the sanctioning body formed in 1948.
Irvin raced all over but said his biggest win came at Atlanta’s famed Lakewood Speedway in 1955. Irvin lives in Banks County.
Ronnie Sanders of Fayetteville began his racing career in 1967 and has raced all over the nation, winning more than 500 races and nine championships.
He competed in three Daytona 500s, was the NASCAR Southeast Regional Champion in 1982 and finished second in the national championship that same year.
Sanders retired from driving at the end of 2008.
Lawrenceville native Leon Sells began his stock car racing career around 1953 at the old Canton Speedway at Hickory Flat. Sells, who raced and won at tracks across Georgia, retired in 1988.
Buck Simmons of Baldwin has more than 1,000 dirt track wins and is a member of the National Dirt Hall of Fame. En route to his next 999 victories, Simmons beat some of the best stock car drivers like Cale Yarbrough, Bobby Allison and Dale Earnhardt on dirt or on asphalt.
Simmons, who still lives and works in Habersham County, competed on the Sprint Cup circuit in 1979 and 1980.
Dirt track racer Katron Sosebee of Lilburn was a frequent winner in the Super Modified ranks at the famed Peach Bowl in Atlanta, where he was the champion in 1963.
After retiring from racing, Sosebee went on to build and maintain cars for his son Bo, and his nephew Michael.