The end of an era: Oglethorpe Speedway racers take the final lap

Published: Nov. 13, 2021 at 11:43 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 14, 2021 at 7:56 AM EST
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POOLER, Ga. (WTOC) - Saturday was a bittersweet night at the Oglethorpe Speedway Park as racers took their final lap.

The speedway has been around for 70 years. People who packed the stands were either first timers, remembered growing up watching the races or raced themselves.

As they watched one last time, they said all of those memories came back.

“Ever since I was knee high to a grass-hopper I’ve been here a long time. And I love it and I’m gonna cry when it’s gone because I got to travel to watch the races now,” said Race Fan Timothy Aeger.

The races have been a tradition for decades.

“I started coming when I was around 8 years old and I’m 22 now,” said Race Fan Hannah Pullen.

The engines revving, the dirt flying off the tracks just never gets old.

“I feel great. I love racing. It just makes me feel like a little kid again,” said Aeger.

And some remember their childhood on the tracks.

“I raced for 16 years out here with my dad,” said Former Racer Cari Howze. “So we have lots of, lots of memories.”

Painful memories flooded back as they remembered the thrill of it all and the risk it took.

“A couple times with her heart stopped. I don’t remember watching my granddad race. I don’t know if I was born yet or not but watching her race was a huge part of my childhood,” said Race Fan Samantha Wood.

So as racers took one final lap, these families held on to how the track gave them something that can’t be replaced.

“It’s good to be back out here...for him,” said Howze.

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