High Point Mayor Bill Bencini has proclaimed Saturday, August 26 as “High Point Racing History Day.” All summer the High Point Museum has been celebrating the City of High Point’s racing history with an exhibit, “When Racing Was Racing” and leading up to unveiling of historical markers for our two race tracks - High Point Speedway, a one-mile dirt track that featured a tunnel entrance was built by the Baity Brothers, and Tri City Speedway, a half mile red dirt track built by Bill and Bob Blair.
“When Racing Was Racing” focuses on the early days of stock car racing. The careers of the High Point drivers, Fred Harb, Bill Blair, Sr., Bob Welborn, Jimmie Lewallen, Ken Rush, and Jim Paschal, are highlighted. It features photographs and memorabilia on loan from Bill Blair, Jr.
The day begins at 10 a.m. with a cruise-in by Johnny Handy, who drove at Tri City Speedway, in a 1939 Ford Coupe #0, Bill Blair, Jr. driving a 1953 Oldsmobile tribute car that won ‘53 Daytona race for Bill Blair, Sr., Jimmy Hailey driving a replica of Bobby Allison’s AMC Matador, and Fred Harb’s 1957 Mercury race car. Come view the cars and talk with the drivers and family members about the early days of stock car racing.
At noon the unveiling of historical markers for our two tracks will take place with the drivers, family members and local dignitaries. Buz McKim, historian for the NASCAR Hall of Fame, will be the moderator for a panel discussion from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. that will include drivers and family members involved with the speedways.
Author Rick Houston will be here from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. to discuss his new book “Dale Versus Daytona: The Intimidator's Quest to Win the Great American Race.” This book features research and a year-by-year look at each of Dale Earnhardt’s Daytona 500s from 1979 through 2001.
“We’re fortunate to still have people in the area who had firsthand experiences with these old tracks,” Edith Brady, Museum Director, said. “We’re grateful they are willing to spend the day with us and share their memories as we unveil the historic markers that will document this bit of High Point history.”
The High Point Museum, a division of the High Point Public Library, is dedicated to sharing Greater High Point’s history, providing perspective for current issues, and strengthening the sense of community.
The City of High Point aims to serve as the catalyst for bringing together the community’s human, economic and civic resources for the purpose of creating the single most livable, safe and prosperous community in America. For more information on the City, visit www.highpointnc.gov