Flashback Friday: Georgia’s Southeastern International Dragway

Images credit: GeorgiaDragRacing.com

It’s rather unfortunate that we have a seemingly bottomless pit of abandoned racetracks to feature here on Flashback Friday, but alas, its the way things are, and so we soldier on to yet another long lost quarter mile of blacktop on this last Friday in February.

This week, we head South to the small town of Dallas Georgia, where the Southeastern International Dragway provided a place to race and entertainment for the locals for half a century. Opened by Marvin “Red” Jones as “Red’s Dragstrip” on July 4, 1955, the original track measured just 1,000 feet with a gravel and tar surface, residing where the return road is now. A new, quarter-mile asphalt strip was constructed in the mid-50’s adjacent to the original.

In 1963, former track flagman and veteran racer Charles Hardy assumed the operations and management of the track, later involving his sons and other family members in the venture. Interestingly, in 1964, several of the famed NASCAR drivers of the era, including Junior Johnson, Curtis Turner, and Freddie Lorenzen turned up at the Southeastern International Dragway to try their hand at straight-line racing. And in ’66, the track assumed NHRA sanctioning and hosted the very first NHRA Division 2 Finals. Hall of Fame racers the likes of Garlits, Beswick, Nicholson, Hubert Platt, and Phil Bonner once pulled into the beams and wow’ed the crowd at the Northern Georgia facility.

As speeds increased over the years he decision was made to shorten the track length to an eighth mile in the 1970’s and in the mid 90’s,underwent a complete re-grading and pouring of a brand new racing surface. Gene Fuller took over as manager and promoter in 1997 and as instrumental in delivering several new classes and feature attractions that kept the fans and the racers coming in the gates. But all great things must eventually come to an end, and under the guidance of Fuller, Southeastern International Dragway held its final race on December 11, 2005, bringing to a close an impressive 50 year run that saw the small town strip outlive many of its 50’s-era counterparts by a couple of decades.

About the author

Andrew Wolf

Andrew has been involved in motorsports from a very young age. Over the years, he has photographed several major auto racing events, sports, news journalism, portraiture, and everything in between. After working with the Power Automedia staff for some time on a freelance basis, Andrew joined the team in 2010.
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