Bowman Gray Racing will start its 70th season in late April, but a preview for the season can be seen this weekend.
The “Legends of the Madhouse Season Preview” at Smith-Reynolds Airport from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday offers an early look at the milestone season, which starts April 21. Admission for the event is $10 and all proceeds go to the Bowman Gray Ladies Auxiliary and foreveristomorrow.org, which raises awareness for kidney disease.
Event organizer Randy Myers is the brother of longtime driver Gary Myers and uncle of brothers Burt and Jason Myers. Randy’s father, Billy, won three Bowman Gray championships.
“It’s the best-attended short track in the country. It’s the longest running NASCAR-sanctioned track in the country,” Randy Myers said.
“This way, it gives us a chance maybe to give something back to people to see the history of the stadium.”
Members of the NASCAR Hall of Fame will be there. Rex White, Jerry Cook and the Wood Brothers (Glen and Leonard) will be in attendance.
Also at the event will be Margaret Sue Turner, the daughter of Curtis Turner — a NASCAR Hall of Famer and 26-time winner at Bowman Gray.
“It’s just good to get around to all the guys that you used to race with, and racing fans,” said White, who is 87 and lives in Fayetteville, Ga. “It’s a great event.”
White, a native of Taylorsville, won 28 races as a NASCAR driver and was the NASCAR Grand National Champion in 1960. He was also named one of NASCAR’s 50 greatest drivers in 1998.
Other Bowman Gray Legends expected to attend are Jimmy Hensley, Max Berrier, Ralph Brinkley, Junior Miller, Spider Kimel, Melvin “Puddin” Swisher, Billy Middleton, Don Smith, Jimmy and Johnny Johnson, Al Hill, Jim Brewer and many others.
From the Modified Division, champion Burt Myers, Tim Brown, James Civali, Randy Butner and Modified Rookie of the Year, Bobby Measmer, Jr., will be there. Sportsman champion Derek Stoltz, John Holleman IV, Taylor Branch, Tommy Neal, Dylan Ward and Zack Ore will be there from the Sportsman Division. From Street Stock, champion Jake Creed, Rookie of the Year Amber Lynn, Taylor Robbins will be there. And in Stadium Stock, champion Wesley Thompson, Rookie of the Year Grayson Keaton, A.J. Sanders, Chris Allison and Chase Hunt will also be there.
Autographs and photos will be done between 10:30 a.m. and 12:30. The “Lightning McQueen” car from the movie “Cars” will be there for the children, and there will be a racing simulator among other activities and auctions.
“The chance to put something together that the fans can come out and see the racers up close and the history up close,” Randy Myers said.