S. Scott Powers
Executive Director, Columbia Regional Sports Council
COLUMBIA, S.C. - (February 24, 2011) - The Columbia Regional Sports Council is pleased to announce the return of the Third Annual Love Chevrolet Columbia Speedway Festival & RacersReunion. The event will be three days of jam-packed fun beginning Thursday, April 14 and running through Saturday, April 16. A one-time admission price of $5 gives event goers access to all three days of activities at the Columbia Speedway. Children age eight and under receive free admission. In the past two years, more than 30,000 people from 17 states, along with former race drivers, reunited to celebrate the role that Columbia Speedway played in the history of stock car racing. Several well-known racing celebrities have been invited to attend and will be confirmed over the next few weeks. For more information about the event, go to RacersReunion.com or contact Jeff Gilder at 843-213-1471.
Schedule of events is as follows:
Thursday April 14th: Gates open at 5:00 p.m., event ends at 10:00 p.m.
Music by Etheridge and Kimpland
Chicken Bog cook-off
Third Annual "Candle Light Track Walk" to Honor All that Raced at Columbia
Cruise-in at Maurice's Piggy Park
Lizard's Thicket fish fry & hospitality night
Music by Black Bottom Biscuits
Saturday April 16th: Parking lot opens at 8:00 a.m., gates open at 8:30 a.m.
Parade down Charleston Hwy to Speedway
"Legends" Autograph Sessions
Vintage Race Cars Displayed
Kids Play Area
Live Auction of Racing Memorabilia
Historic Columbia Speedway, located at 2001 Charleston Hwy in Cayce, has a deep-rooted history that includes some significant firsts. A young Richard Petty ran his first race there on July 12, 1958 in a 1957 Oldsmobile convertible. He won his first ever race there a year later on July 17, 1959. Columbia Speedway became the spot of the first NASCAR race to be held under the lights when the Grand National series made its first ever stop there on Saturday night June 16, 1951. That night Studebaker got its first and only NASCAR win when "The Rebel" Frank Mundy got to the checkers first. Chevrolet got its first NASCAR win at Columbia Speedway when Fonty Flock drove a 1955 Chevy to victory on March 16, 1955. Other first include Buck Baker's first Grand National win on April 12, 1952 in a 1951 Hudson. Buddy Baker ran his first ever race at this historic track on April 4, 1959 in a 1958 Chevrolet. All the stars of the sport during that era raced at Columbia. Ralph Earnhardt, Lee Petty, Curtis Turner, Tiny Lund, David Pearson, Cotton Owens, Little Bud Moore, are only a few of the greats who came to race there.
About Columbia Regional Sports Council
The mission of the Columbia Regional Sports Council is to strengthen the area's economy by marketing and selling the Columbia, SC region (City of Columbia, Lexington County, Richland County) as a premier destination for sporting events, partnering with local sports organizations to grow and develop existing events, and by recruiting new events which provide an economic benefit to the region by generating room nights, food and beverage sales, and associated tax revenues.