Spot Light: From the Fans

My Favorite Memories from Road Atlanta

Road Atlanta was always my favorite track. My father, J.W. Denton, was the whole reason I got interested in racing. From about 1957 to 1985 if it happened in Daytona or Road Atlanta I either heard about it from my father or saw it myself. I saw lots of history at Road Atlanta and met tons of great people.

The track in the 70s was very laid back and had lots of energy. The sound of those rotary Mazda's will still make you deaf. And, Heaven forbid if you were behind Al Holbert or Greenwood when they fired up the Monza or Corvette. All seems like another life. I have not been back to the track in over 26 years but I would like to come back sometime soon to see the new track.

Needless to say, we loved Road Atlanta and were there often! Here are some of my favorite memories of the track growing up.

My Dad's car was a "Beach," built by Gene Beach and Mark IV. It was painted Playboy Blue and was the most beautiful car I had ever seen. This was taken in front of our house in Hiawassee.
Once Al Holbert was testing out the brand spanking new Can-Am Car. He came out on a cold Saturday while the Ferrari Club had the track rented. We didn't mind having him screaming around the track, but he went out and didn't come back. We all got in our cars to see what happened and found Al and one other person with a shovel and a fire extinguisher. His car was on fire! That was the end of that car; it melted down to the ground!

These are some of my favorite shots of the track back in the early 70s. Lots of sun and humidity! Here is a photo of Brian Redman, he clearly was not used to the hot Georgia sun and his back and shoulders were very sunburned. OOPS!
Here is the photo of Redman's Formula F5000, his Lola was funded by Jim Hall.
Our favorite place to sit was inside the gate where the hospital was across the pit entrance, along the fence, watching them come down the hill to turn 12. It was always fun because we knew most of the drivers, all the medical staff and the owners of the track. I have a Black and White shot of my Mom sitting there in our favorite spot. We also enjoyed sitting along the back straight, this was before the chicanes were put in!
I was at Road Atlanta when P.L. Newman won the championship for the first time. I remember that he and Bob Tullis would always play tricks on each other during race weekends. Garbage trucks would appear at the Tullis camp, don't know from where, planes would fly over with some smart quip about Tullis or Newman. Always something going on!