Museum celebrates city’s racing history
HIGH POINT, N.C.– This summer, the High Point Museum is celebrating the City of High Point’s racing history with an exhibit, community events and historical markers. “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.
Want to be a NASCAR driver? Well here’s your chance to try it out. The High Point Museum will have a NASCAR simulator race car of Dale Earnhardt Jr’s Xfinity Series Goody’s Chevy Camaro Saturday, July 29 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. This is the car that he will be racing during the Xfinity race at the Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway August 18.
The simulator car has two in car interactive simulators which will let you test your skills against the top drivers in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. The 2017 JRM Goody’s Chevy Camaro also has a real Xfinity racing engine that lets you get the full experience of being part of Dale Earnhardt, Jr’s Motorsports race team.
Also that day Kona Ice of Greensboro will be here from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. In our Historical Park, costumed interpreters will conduct a water bucket relay as well as show visitors how to use a water thumber to water plants.
Join the High Point Museum Saturday, August 26 as we continue to commemorate our racing history. 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., and Jimmy Hailey driving a replica of Bobby Allison’s AMC Matador.
At noon the unveiling of historical markers for our two 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. Drivers and local dignitaries will be on hand. 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.
“Many of the newcomers and younger people in High Point have no idea that these old tracks once drew thousands of spectators to see well-known stock car race drivers,” Edith Brady, Museum Director, said. “This event is a fun way to keep this history alive.”
The High Point Museum, a division of the High Point Public Library, is dedicated to sharing Greater High Point’s history, providing perspective on 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