Three veteran racecar drivers with local ties have been named among the 15 semi-finalists for the 2009 class for the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame.
Buck Simmons, Tommie Irvin and Katron Sosebee are among the semi-finalists. The final group of eight that will make up the 2009 class will be voted on during a June 13 meeting at the Hall of Fame in Dawsonville.
Buck Simmons, of Baldwin, is one of the winningest drivers in the nation, having netted over 1,000 checkered flags in a career that spanned five decades. When Simmons climbed out of his famed number 41 for the last time back in 2003, he had won 1,012 races.
Tommie Irvin, also of Baldwin, is a true stock car racing pioneer. Irvin raced locally in the late ‘40s and early ‘50s, and was one of the first drivers, along with his friend Swayne Pritchett, to obtain a license from NASCAR shortly after the sanctioning body formed in 1948.
Although Katron Sosebee now called Lilburn home, he was born at his family’s home in Habersham County. Sosebee was a force to be reckoned with on dirt tracks around the state, going toe-to-toe with the likes of Bud Lundsford, Jabez Jones, Bruce Brantley and Leon Sells from the early ‘50s to the ‘70s.
The 2009 Hall of Fame class will be announced the week following the June 13 final vote.
For more on these racers and the other hall of fame nominees see the June 3 edition of The Banks County News.