The announcement of the newest inductees into the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame in Dawsonville, Ga. moved one step closer this week, as the Hall of Fame announced the “Fast 15” semi-finalists for the class of 2013.
The 2013 semi-finalists include Dick Anderson of Chamblee, GA, Charles Barrett of Cleveland, GA, Hank Blalock of Decatur, GA, Dick Brannan of Dawsonville, GA, Charlie Burkhalter of Athens, GA, Frank Christian of Dahlonega, GA, Tommie Clinard of Macon, GA, Freddy Fryar of Chattanooga, TN, Bobby Johns of Miami, FL, Jabez Jones of Toccoa, GA, Huston Platt of Buford, GA, Sam Sommers of Sylvania, GA, Jimmy Thomas of Columbus, GA (Whose family still owns and operated East Alabama Motor Speedway in Phenix City Alabama), Charles Tidwell of Macon, GA, and Frank Warren of Augusta, GA.
Jimmy Thomas – Columbus, GA – Deceased – Successful car, track owner – After serving in the Army, began working as a mechanic after being discharged in 1946. Began working as a racing mechanic in the early 50s. – With driver Walt Kruger, won the track championship at Auburn-Opelika Speedway in 1953, winning the most races on the Georgia Circuit that year. Thomas was named Georgia Mechanic of the Year in 1953. – Took over Rocket Speedway in 1954, ran it until 1959 – Served as race director for the Valley Stock Car Association in 1955. – Owned Columbus Superspeedway – Owned cars for GRHOF member Sam McQuagg. McQuagg won NASCAR Rookie of the Year honors in 1965 driving for Thomas. – Won at Charlotte with LeeRoy Yarbrough in 1966. – Worked as an inspector for NASCAR beginning in 1967. – Owned East Alabama Motor Speedway in Phenix City, AL – Ran Senoia Raceway in Senoia, GA for a period of time – Passed away Oct. 19, 1980.