Appalachia Appalachia Through My Eyes

Appalachia Through My Eyes – Dirt Track Racing

My life in appalachia - Dirt Track Racing
Every other Friday night you can find dirt track racing at it’s best less than 5 miles from our house. I’ve been numerous times before, but these days I let The Deer Hunter and the girls keep the fun all to themselves, however when they go they always bring me something home.

I’m usually snug in the bed when they roll in after a night of racing. The next morning I feel red clay grit under my feet as I head to the kitchen to make coffee and I see strange red clay hieroglyphics on the counter top as I wash my face.

Dirt track racing is a part of life in this area of Appalachia-they’ve been racing at the track in Brasstown since the 50s.


Appalachia Through My Eyes – A series of photographs from my life in Southern Appalachia.


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  • Reply
    August 19, 2011 at 8:03 pm

    We have several dirt tracks in surrounding areas here. It’s a big think here.
    If the wind is blowing right we can hear the cars racing about 15 miies from here. Or 5 miles as the crow flies.

  • Reply
    teresa atkinson
    August 17, 2011 at 3:49 pm

    Grew up watching my daddy race. Got red clay dust in my blood. Love it. Still go occasionally.
    Have a great day.

  • Reply
    Janet Smart
    August 16, 2011 at 10:47 pm

    I’m not into racing, but there is a track a little ways from our house and every Saturday night we can hear the cars going round and round while we lay in bed at night.

  • Reply
    Carol Isler
    August 16, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    Down here it’s the Greer Dragway. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights roughly the same season as NASCAR. They’re on the opposite ridge from us, and the sound carries well, especially in the fall. Rocked my babies to sleep to the roar of dragsters many a night.

  • Reply
    Tim Mclemore
    August 16, 2011 at 8:28 pm

    Yep, Jake’s Drag-strip/Round track, every Saturday night loud, and dirty, we lived about 8 miles away. The way a crow flies, on most nights we could hear the cars from that far away, went only once or twice in my life, parents didn’t care for it, besides we had to go to Church on Sunday and they would race way on up in the night.

  • Reply
    David Templeton
    August 16, 2011 at 8:09 pm

    We had dirt tracks at Gate City, just across the line from Kingsport. When we moved to Indianapolis we would go to Art Zipp’s Speedway. They did figure-8 racing and people came for the wrecks.

  • Reply
    August 16, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    Florida State Fairgrounds at Tampa. Funny Cars. Then sometime in the 70’s they relocated to north Tampa and I don’t think I ever went there. Just as important as the races were the musical acts that appeared there. They could hold a bigger audience than the Armory and boy, I can remember some great country and “other” acts (Dr. Hook) that played there.

  • Reply
    Garland Davis
    August 16, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    Did a little dirt track racing in San Diego in the early 70’s. It is fun to watch and even more fun to drive.

  • Reply
    Mary Berrong
    August 16, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    When I was dating the guy who became my husband; my sister, her date and my guy wanted to go the dirt track at Brasstown. I didn’t want to go, but they insisted and I reluctantly gave in. We got a seat in the stands which then were above the first curve. It was loud and dirty. Just as I thought I might really enjoy this venture, the first car that came to the curve, climbed halfway up the bank and slung clods of mud on the stands. In all the people that were sitting there, just guess who got hit in the head with a clod of mud!!! I married him anyway, but he goes to the racetrack by himself these days.

  • Reply
    August 16, 2011 at 2:55 pm

    We have them nearby, but I rarely go…kids and hubby enjoy, but the older I get, the less I like noise…and dirt. Party pooper, I know.

  • Reply
    Uncle Al
    August 16, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    I can still remember some of the names of the drivers at the local dirt track I went to. After a while they had the money to pave the track. It was different but just as much fun to watch…the noise is/was pretty rough though.

  • Reply
    August 16, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    We used to have a dirt track here and they raced every Friday and Sat. night. For some reason they closed it down and now it’s all grown over with weeds and bushes. I only went a few times; just too noisey for me.

  • Reply
    Lonnie L. Dockery
    August 16, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    When I was a teenager I would do anything to get to the track! I’d work all week and hitch a ride with anyone I could find. There is nothing like it! It is so much more fun than NASCAR! And knowing the cars and drivers just makes it better. I am glad the Deer Hunter takes them. They will never forget those times with their dad. I have been only once in the past 40 years, but by golly I’m going back–soon!

  • Reply
    August 16, 2011 at 11:38 am

    Our bunch use to love racing. For
    about 12 years I sponsored a part
    of our race car and we raced alot
    and went everywhere within 150
    miles of Cleveland, Tenn. our home
    track. But on Friday nights we
    were always at Sugar Creek near
    Blue Ridge, Ga. That was a lot of
    fun, spent a bunch of money, but I
    don’t regret any of it. One year
    our car won 21 races and many a
    night we worked way into the morning on chassis parts here at
    my place. Good memories and ahh,
    the smell of that gas…Ken

  • Reply
    Kim Joris
    August 16, 2011 at 10:15 am

    My first visit to the dirt track everybody could tell I was a virgin race track attendee. I mean who else stands in the best viewing spot, where no one else was standing, only to get spit on by a hail of dirt bullets as the cars rounded the curve. Nobody in the stand warned me. Guess it is sort of a rite of passage to get spit on by those dirt bullets. One of those things you have to learn on your own. I washed the dirt out of my long hair for days. It is loud. It is dirty. But it was worth it. I was once one of the newcomers who tried to curb the noise of the track. Until I realized the newcomers wanted to shut the track down. My mistake. Can’t wait to go to my next race. Thanks Tipper.

  • Reply
    August 16, 2011 at 9:57 am

    The little town in West Virginia my family came from changed it’s name from “Pride” to “Speedway” when everyone started getting cars.
    Enuff Said…
    – Laurie

  • Reply
    August 16, 2011 at 9:25 am

    i’ve never been to a dirt track but growing up we had a local race track we’d all go to. my brothers even raced in the demolition derby every weekend. for a “dirt” track we’d go to the desert and ride dune buggies and back then, 3 wheelers!

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    August 16, 2011 at 8:56 am

    I went out to Okeechobee, FL once to see the car that a friend’s business sponsored. What impressed me was the dedication of the fans to racing. They could tell you which sponsor was on the left front fender of driver X’s 2004 car!

  • Reply
    August 16, 2011 at 8:16 am

    Just once back when we lived in CA. We had brown dirt, dirt is dirt but, your red dirt does look pretty.
    My eldest was a teen then and whe invited a friend. Another family also joined us and we had a picnic out on the grassy area away from the stands. It was a lot of fun getting together with family & friends and look at the cars.
    I do believe I did more talking & laughing than watching the races.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    August 16, 2011 at 7:57 am

    Tipper, I knew exactly what you were going to say that they bring home to you.LOL
    There is a lot of red clay dirt flying at the race.
    I always go with them when I visit. The Deer Hunter and the girls know a lot more about it than I do, they know all the cars and all the racers, but I sure do enjoy sharing it with them…..and there is always plenty of red clay dirt to go around….in your hair, in your ears, up your nose. It takes a while to scrub it all off!

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    August 16, 2011 at 7:45 am

    Tipper–As I told either you or the Deer Hunter, racing has absolutely no appeal for me. I’ll take peace and solitude with the only noise coming from katydids, a chorus of songbirds, or best of all, the soothing symphony of the changeless yet ever-changing sounds of a fast-flowing mountian stream.
    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    August 16, 2011 at 7:20 am

    Clint-LOL you may have 2 girls arguing that point next time you see them : )
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Celebrating and Preserving the
    Culture of Appalachia

  • Reply
    August 16, 2011 at 7:13 am

    Yes, I used to go with the husband back in my younger days. Never really enjoyed it much with the loud noise and dirt flying. Different strokes for different folks i guess!

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    August 16, 2011 at 6:42 am

    A couple of years ago the dirt track here was sold to make room for a new industry…
    We took our boys when they were young…and they loved it…
    With the right wind conditons we could hear the cars racing on a Saturday night even though it was miles away….Seems like there used to be stock car races there too and when it rained red clay mud would fly everywhere…as they drove into and banged up the cars…
    In my day we went to the drag racing track…
    They built a new four lane bridge to replace the old steel bridge, some might remember as Edgemoor Bridge. Before traffic got heavy, regular Friday night illegal drag races were held there. Usually it was started by a challenge instigated by one of the boys with the duck-tailed haircut..ha..I only went to one or two..I was too “skeered” everyone would get arrested, so I sat mostly in the car and watched…it really never amounted to much..mostly it led to one or both boys having to start work on their cars again on Saturday morning…thanks for the memories
    Thanks Tipper

  • Reply
    August 16, 2011 at 6:41 am

    Dirt is for farming. Racing should be done on pavement:)

  • Reply
    August 16, 2011 at 6:28 am

    They had those every Saturday at the fairgrounds in the little town I grew up in. Dust, noise, and treats from the concession stand. I didn’t get to go much, but I loved it.

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