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Racing community loses a legend
Charlie Mincey died Thursday following a short illness
6. Grand Marshall Mincey mug

Racing legend Charlie Mincey has died.

"You won't find a race fan nowhere in Georgia that doesn't know Charlie Mincey cause he raced over such a span of time," said President of the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame Gordon Pirkle.

Mincey, 84, died Thursday evening, according to Pirkle, who said he had fallen a few days before and was not able to recover from the injuries.

Mincey had recently been named grand marshal of the upcoming 49th Moonshine Festival in Dawsonville in October.

"He was so proud to have been named grand marshal," Pirkle said.

The one time moonshine runner was inducted into the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame in 2004 where his 1939 car is currently on display.

He got his driver's license when he was only 12 years old and his first speeding ticket two weeks later.

Mincey worked with his father, Roy Mincey, out his body shop in Atlanta.

"I first started coming to Dawsonville when I was about 14," Mincey said during one of his last interviews. "I was hauling some ‘shine back to Atlanta. I did that for about five years outta here. I got married and quit doing it and went to racing."

Over the course of Mincey's five year moonshine running career, he was chased frequently and even shot at, but he never lost a load.

"It never did get scary until right there when they started shooting," he said. "I didn't mind being chased but I didn't like being shot at."

Mincey raced for 33 years all over the southeast on both dirt and asphalt tracks. He won track championships at Toccoa, Athens and Atlanta's Peach Bowl Speedway. In 1955 he won the Georgia State Modified Championship.

"His career spanned the longest, most interesting part of racing," said Pirkle. "He raced with pioneers like Gober Sosebee."
Mincey had been coming to the Moonshine Festival since it began and though he had been in the parade many times over, he was looking forward to being up front.

"I guess I get to ride in the parade this time up front instead of in the back," Mincey said of his role as grand marshal.

Mincey and his wife Carolyn would have celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary this June.