ES: Gresham Motorsports Park news 2010-08-20

NASCAR Has Long History At Gresham Motorsports Park JEFFERSON, GA (August , 2010) -- On November 11, 1968, Cale Yarborough wheeled a Wood Brothers Mercury to a win in the Peach State 200 NASCAR Grand National event at Jefco Speedway. Richard...

NASCAR Has Long History At Gresham Motorsports Park

JEFFERSON, GA (August , 2010) -- On November 11, 1968, Cale Yarborough wheeled a Wood Brothers Mercury to a win in the Peach State 200 NASCAR Grand National event at Jefco Speedway.

Richard Petty, David Pearson, James Hylton and LeeRoy Yarbrough completed the Top-5 finishers.

That event, along with several other NASCAR events in the early history of what is now Gresham Motorsports Park, will come alive again when the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East invades the Jefferson, GA half-mile oval on Saturday, August 28. TheAmerican Fence Association 150 Presented By Mayfield Ice Creamierwill mark the first time since August 30, 1987, when Larry Pearson captured the World Crown 200 NASCAR Busch (now Nationwide) Series race.

"When you go back and look at all the champions and great drivers that competed at this track when it was first built, you have to have a sense of pride about the people that made NASCAR -- and Gresham Motorsports Park -- what it is today," said Dan Elliott, General Manager of Gresham Motorsports Park. "We've have such great NASCAR history here and we know that with the kind of NASCAR K&N Pro Series drivers we have coming here, that tradition is going to carry on in the future.."

GMP opened as Jefco Speedway on July 30, 1967 with 'Tiger' Tom Pistone (left) winning a NASCAR Sportsman (now Nationwide) Series event. The race was ironically named the [Tom%20Pistone%201967.jpg] 'Tiger 200' in honor of the local Commerce, GA high school that had won the state football championship.

Yarborough followed with his 1968 NASCAR Grand National triumph before Bobby Issac won the Jefco 200 Grand National event beating Pearson, Petty, Yarbrough and Neil Castles to the checkered flag.

Over the next 15 years, Jefco concentrated on local short-track racing while NASCAR began to morph into America's premier stock car sanctioning body. In 1981, Jefco had a name change to Georgia International Raceway and started its now signature late model stock car season-ending premier event -- the World Crown 300 -- in 1983. The inaugural World Crown 300 was won by Dick Trickle and since then a number of top drivers including Darrell Waltrip, Rich Bickle, Rick Crawford, Bobby Gill, Freddy Query, Mike Cope and Billy Bigley, Jr. all won the event.

Paul Kelley, a four-time winner of the 'Crown,' is the defending champion of the event which will take the green flag for the 27th time this year on November 14.

Additionally, top NASCAR stars such as Dale Earnhardt, Neil Bonnett, David Pearson (pictured), [David%20Pearson%201%20600.jpg] Bill Elliott, Bobby, Donnie and Davey Allison all raced in special late model stock car events throughout the 1980's.

NASCAR returned to GMP on May 10, 1985 with Waltrip winning the Budweiser 200 NASCAR Busch Series event. A year later, Larry Pearson scored the first of his two Busch Series wins at the track beating Mike Alexander, Dale Jarrett, Mark Martin and Rusty Wallace to the finish line in the 1986 Budweiser 200.

Pearson then closed out the most recent NASCAR chapter at GMP winning the World Crown 200 Busch Series event in front of L.D. Ottinger, Alexander, Jimmy Hensley and Waltrip.

Meanwhile, the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East debuted as the NASCAR Busch North Series in 1987. Since then, the division has been one of NASCAR's top touring series and today serves as the sanctioning organization's top driver development series. The fact that the division -- and NASCAR -- is coming to GMP on Saturday, August 28, is a sign that the track is back on the map according to Elliott.

"This is going to be a historic event," Elliott stated. "This racetrack was built for NASCAR and built for speed -- back in 1967 and now again in 2010. We're looking forward to a long and successful relationship with NASCAR in the future. We started talking with them about coming back here before the construction on GMP even started. It's great to have NASCAR at GMP again and you can be sure it won't be another 23 years before NASCAR comes back here again."

Joining the K&N Pro Series East division on Saturday, August 28 will be the GMP Trucks, Renegades and Mini-Stocks divisions making it a full night of racing thrills and spills.

Adult Grandstand and Trackside General Admission Tickets are just $20 for the American Ice Creamier 150 Presented By Mayfield Ice Creamier event. Seniors (55 and older) and Active Military Personnel are $18 while Children 6-12 are $10. Children 5 and under will be admitted free and, as always, parking is free.

Overnight camping areas for the American Fence Association 150 Presented Mayfield Ice Creamier at GMP will open Friday, August 25 at 10 a.m. A secure, level gravel surface camping area is available for $75 for the weekend. A free of charge grass surface camping area adjacent to the main grandstand is also available. All camping areas are first come, first served.

The GMP Grandstand and Trackside Parking for the August 28 event will open at 11 a.m. Trackside Parking spots are $25 (Vans, Pickups, Cars only) on a first come, first served basis. Opening Ceremonies are set for 6:45 p.m. with the first race taking the green flag at 7:30 p.m. sharp.

Gresham Motorsports Park is located right off I-85 at Exit 140, next to the Jackson County Airport in Jefferson. GA.

For more information about Gresham Motorsports Park, please log on to www.GreshamMotorsportsPark.com.

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About this article
Series NASCAR
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Rich Bickle , Bill Elliott , Dale Jarrett , Darrell Waltrip , Dick Trickle , Rusty Wallace , Rick Crawford , Billy Bigley , Richard Petty , Jimmy Hensley , James Hylton , Cale Yarborough , Mark Martin , David Pearson , Davey Allison