#1: Welcome to the Dawsonville History Museum, home of the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame
Bringing our local and regional heritage to our visitors on an easy self-guided tour is our main objective. We begin in our alleyway with six antique cars starting from the early 1930’s , taking you through history and into modern day racing. As you maneuver our landscape you will see 7 Georgia native NASCAR champions displays including the reining NASCAR Champion Chase Elliott, whose exhibit which will bring you into modern day racing.
Dawsonville was founded in 1857 as the newly formed Dawson County, incorporated as a town in 1859 and as a city in 1952 and named for state senator William Crosby Dawson (1798 –1856). Even though Dawson was born and died in Greensboro, Ga., the county and city were named in his honor for distinguished service as a soldier, lawyer, judge and politician.
Enjoy your-self guided tour, and let us know if any of our volunteers can assist you in any way. You will find us wearing navy blue vests.Click Here for audio tour
#2: Souvenir Shop
No tour of our museum is complete without a souvenir to take home, so please visit souvenir shop and take a look at our available merchandise.
#3: Moonshine Car
Past the ticket counter and souvenir center on your right you will find the Dawsonville Moonshine distillery. In front of the distillery in our alleyway you will see a 1935 Ford powered Sprint car, driven by Speedy Morelock. This car is powered by a Flathead V8 and was considered a moonshine runner but also ran dirt tracks, ½ mile to 1 mile in length in the 30’s and 40’s. this car is on loan from the family of Don Morris.
#4: Buck Baker
The 1957 Chevrolet 150 Black Widow was driven by NASCAR driver Buck Baker. This was the first Chevrolet to win a Grand National (now Monster Energy) Championship title. This car won 10 races, $30,000 in winnings in 1957. Buck Baker won 46 races in his career and was the #1 driver of the 1950’s.
#5: Fireball Roberts #22 Ford
Glenn “Fireball” Roberts - one of the most revered drivers in NASCAR from the late 40’s to the early 60’s.
Roberts crew chief Smokey Yunick got the best gas mileage of any team in the field. It was finally discovered that they routed the fuel through the roll bars and back to the fuel tank. Yunick once told Gordon Pirkle “he could Have drove to Jacksonville and back (from Daytona) with the amount of fuel they had in Roberts car. Fireball was famous for saying “you ain’t cheating until you get caught”.
Roberts was a baseball pitcher in high school and college and that is how he got his nickname “Fireball”.
He passed away due to injuries caused from a fiery wreck in Charlotte North Carolina during the Work 600 where over 80% of his body suffered second and third degree burns. His death lead to the development of the Firestone Race Safe fuel cell and increased research on on fire retardant uniforms.
#6: Jimmy Mosteller and Captain Herb Library
Funded by a grant from Walmart, the Dawsonville History museum library offers racing enthusiasts as well as local history buffs an area to research heritage.
#7: Raymond Parks display with Novelty Parks car
Following World War II, Parks hired veteran driver and former moonshine runner, Bob Flock (the oldest of the fabulous Flock Brothers) to drive the #14 Parks Novelty car.
#8: Hall of Famers Charlie Mincy and Charlie Burkhalter
The first two cars on the left of the alley way beyond the ticket counter and souvenir shop are modified cars. The black #16 car driven by Charlie Mincy was a “Skeeter race car”, meaning it was cut down sedans from the 30’s, this style car raced in the early 50’s to late 60’s and was a predecessor to the #75 winged car beside it raced by Charlie Burkhalter.
#9: Welcome to the Stock Car History Theatre
You’ve already learned quite a bit about our heritage, so it is no secret that Dawsonville is considered the birthplace of stockcar racing. But let’s go a little further back and learn a little bit about how the revenuers and the moonshiners raced up and down the dirt mountain roads back in the day and how that gave rise to some of today’s great stock car family names along the way.
#10 Heritage Room
The Heritage room high lights three predecessors to early sprint cars. Jimmy Baker, Don Morris and Speedy Morelock Entering the heritage room, pay close attention to our state emblem on the floor showcasing each historic racetrack throughout the state of Georgia. Also, the Totem Pole in the center of the room shows the distance of each Georgia racetrack from the museum.
#11: The Elliott Family Room
When Erving George Elliott Jr. and Mildred Reece Elliott married in 1943, they had no idea they would become the patriarchs of one of NASCAR’s most iconic racing families.
- Casey Elliott - William “Casey” Elliott was born February 13, 1974. He was the only son of legendary NASCAR engine builder and crew chief Ernie Elliott and wife, Sheila.
- Bill Elliott – Championship Trophy Case
- Standard Building Supply - The late George Elliott started out with a love of fast Fords and wound up building a racing dynasty. Between his success as a car owner and that of his sons and grandsons as drivers and mechanics, they have successfully established themselves as the first family of Georgia racing.
#12: The Phil Bonner Thunderbolt on Display
This 1964 Al Means Ford Thunderbolt is owned by Preston Bonner of Atlanta, GA. This is one of the first eleven Thunderbolts built at Dearborn Steel Tubing. It has a 427 CID (7..OL) V8 engine, Dual Holley four-barrel carburetors, Borg- Warren T-10 aluminum four-speed transmission and fiberglass doors.
#13: Ernie Elliott Motor Dyno Room
From the earliest days of the Elliott family’s No. 9 Ford, when the cars were hand-me-down and the funding limited, Ernie Elliott was laser focused on building the team into a winner.
#14: Dan Elliott
Gave up his own driving ambitions – he did win a consolation race at Dixie Speedway before he stopped – suffered two serious injuries on pit road as a result of being struck by other drivers and retired from over-the-wall work in 1991. In 2008, he was named general manager of Gresham Motorsports Park, a track in which his father was once part of the ownership team, and held that position until 2013.
#15: Biddle and Jody Ridley
This Chatsworth, Georgia driver, Jody Ridley picked up around 500 short track victories in his career. Biddle Ridley was also a stock car driver but was his brother Jody’s crew chief as well.
#16: Wise Brothers Special
Herman Wise was born in North Carolina but moved to Northeast Georgia in the late 40’s when his father died, and his mother took a teaching Job at Toccoa Falls Bible School. Herman was drawn to racing like a moth to a flame, Before long he was working his way up the ladder on the short tracks across the south.
#17: The Georgia Racing Hall of Fame
Visit the historic backgrounds of some of racing’s best. From moonshine to NASCAR, Sprint cars, late models etc.. walking through in our rotunda, we learn something new every time we visit.
#18: Gober Sosebee - HOF Inductees/Hemphill station exhibit
Four Dawsonville drivers – Gober Sosebee, Roy Hall, Lloyd Seay and Bernard Long – won races on Daytona’s beach/road course from 1941-59. During the 1940s, 12 of 15 of those races were won either by drivers or owners hailing from the small community. NASCAR Hall of Fame (2017 class member) Raymond Parks, a Dawsonville native, owned the car in which Red Byron won the inaugural NASCAR premier series championship. Elliott became the fifth Daytona winner among the "Dawsonville Gang" when he won the 1985 Daytona 500.
#19: Bill Elliott’s 1st NASCAR Cup Series Win Car
RIVERSIDE RACEWAY IN CALIFORNIA (NOV. 20, 1983) - Bill Elliott breaks through to claim his first NASCAR win after entering the big-time Winston Cutp Series in the mid-1970's. A family owned operation from the Northern Georgia mountains. Not surprisingly, fans took to him almost immediately. For seven seasons Elliott and his family oriented team, led by his brothers Ernie and Dan, showed up at the bigger races. Gradually, they grew competitive, and teased at victory, but checkered flags never came. At lease not until NASCAR's top series headed west in '83 for the season finale on the hilly, 2.6-mile, 9-turn Riverside road course near San Bernardino. When the 119-lap race began Elliott's non-winning streak stood at 115 races.
"I can't believe it. Can't believe how things went so much in our favor. I was very concerned at the end. The car was getting close on gas. It had to be almost out. We weren't getting as good a gas mileage as some of the others. In fact, I ran out before my first pit stop and I could just imagiine that happening again at the end and everybody passing me. I told Ernie on the radio, for him and the other boys to pray that I could finish that last lap."
Chase Elliott’s 1st NASCAR Cup Series Win Car
1st WIN! Watkins Glen (August 5, 2018) - Chase Elliott claimed his first career NASCAR Cup Series win in dramatic fashion at Watkins Glen International as he held off defending series champion Martin Truex Jr. down the stretch. He led 52 of the 90 laps en route to the 250th victory for Hendrick Motorsports. Elliott had amassed eight runner-up finishes before capturing his first career Cup Series victory in his 99th start – and it came at a road course. His father, NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott, also collected eight runner-up finishes before his first win, which came at a road course – Riverside International Raceway in 1983.
“Holy cow, what a thrill. I don’t know what to say,” Elliott said in victory lane. “Just so thrilled, so emotional. So much relief.”
#20: Chase Elliott’s Most Popular Driver display
Most Popular Driver Award – For the third consecutive year, Chase Elliott was voted as the National Motorsports Press Association Most Popular Driver. The last time a Cup Series champion was also named NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver was in 1988 when Elliott’s father, NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott, earned both titles. The older Elliott currently holds the record with 16 Most Popular Driver awards.
"I'm grateful for the best fans I could ever ask for," Elliott said. "You guys show out every week when you can at the track, on the internet and all of the above, so just thank you, thank you, thank you.”
#21: The Chase Elliott 2020 Season and Championship Exhibit
Charlotte (May 28, 2020) – After rolling off the grid 19th for the 208-lap event, Chase Elliott worked his way to the front and led the final 28 laps - crossing the line 2.208 seconds ahead of the second-place driver. The win at Charlotte Motor Speedway was Chase’s first win of the 2020 season and secured his spot in the 2020 NASCAR playoffs for the fifth consecutive season.
“It feels awesome,” Elliott said. “I really appreciate everybody at Hendrick Motorsports across the street, Chevrolet, and everybody at the shop have been working really hard. Kelley Blue Book, NAPA, Hooters, Mountain Dew, all of our partners that have made this happen – I just appreciate it. I appreciate my team. Alan (Gustafson) made a great call there at the end to get it tuned up and, luckily, the run went long, and I think that fell in our favor.”
Daytona Road Course Win
DAYTONA Road Course (August 16, 2020) - Chase Elliott and the No. 9 team were a force to be reckoned with at the NASCAR Cup Series’ first-ever DAYTONA Road Course race. Elliott won the first stage, led a race-high 34 laps and flawlessly executed the final few laps as he fended off Denny Hamlin to win the inaugural DAYTONA Road Course race - his third consecutive road course victory.
“I'm not sure I did anything very special today,” said Elliott in victory lane. “I had a really fast NAPA Camaro, which makes everybody's job a little easier from my end driving it, from Alan's (Gustafson) end calling the race, and then from his end on adjusting too. Really fortunate from that standpoint. Had a really nice week of preparation, came out and executed a really good race. Really proud of the day. I think we have a lot to be proud of and showing up having a car like it needed to be, it doing what I wanted, and then to take that and get the result that I felt like we deserved.”
Charlotte Roval Win
Charlotte Roval (October 11, 2020) - Chase Elliott and the No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports team had a strong showing at the Charlotte roval as they led 27 laps on the way to Elliott’s fourth consecutive road course victory. By virtue of the win, Chase advanced to the Round of 8 in the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs for the fifth consecutive season.
“I just had another really fast NAPA Camaro and really appreciate the effort,” Elliott said. “I feel like road courses have been fortunate to us the last few trips, but I feel like we just try to get a little better every time and tweak on the small things. I feel like I tweaked on some small things and got a little better than what I was here last year, which was good. I’m just really proud of the effort. I appreciate everybody at Hendrick, Chevrolet, Mountain Dew, Kelley Blue Book, UniFirst, Hooters and all of our partners that make this deal go. It’s always special to win here at Charlotte with the shop being right across the street. I appreciate all the effort there. The best way to get into the next round is to win and so, hopefully we can do something with it.”
Martinsville (November 1, 2020) – Chase turned in a stellar performance at Martinsville Speedway that clinched his first career berth in the Championship 4 race at Phoenix Raceway. The victory was the fourth of the season for the No. 9 team and the 10th of Elliott’s NASCAR Cup Series career.
“Oh, my gosh. This is the biggest win ever for us,” said Elliott. “I’m just so proud to be able to be backed into a corner like that and have to win tonight. I feel like that’s what we’ve been missing these past four or five years and perform when we don’t have a choice. And, to do that tonight; we couldn’t ask for a better night. This is unreal. Thanks to the fans for coming out. They’re here and I love to see it! I’ve just got to catch my breath. This is just unbelievable. We’re going to Phoenix with a shot to win a championship and have a beautiful blue NAPA Camaro headed out there with a shot to win a title. What more could you ask for?”
Phoenix (November 8, 2020) – After starting from the rear of the field at Phoenix Raceway, Chase Elliott outran three of the best drivers in stock-car racing to earn his first NASCAR Cup Series championship after a thrilling 2020 season finale. The driver of the No. 9 clinched the title after leading 153 laps, including the final 42, en route to Hendrick Motorsports’ record-extending 13th championship.
Bristol Motor Speedway All-Star Win
2020 All-Star Race (July 15, 2020) – After dominating the field, Chase Elliott took home the checkered flag at Bristol Motor Speedway during the 2020 NASCAR All-Star Race. Elliott won Stages 2 and 3 before crossing the finish line first in the final stage and earning the $1 million prize. This event marked the first NASCAR All-Star Race held at Bristol Motor Speedway. The only other all-star event that wasn't at Charlotte Motor Speedway was at Atlanta Motor Speedway in 1986, the year Elliott's father, Bill Elliott, won the event. Elliott's win on Wednesday makes him and Bill Elliott the second father-son duo to earn all-star victories.
“Just a special night,” Elliott said. “A special event. Any race is hard to win, but this is a special race to win, something that locks you in the All-Star Race for life. That is extremely special to join dad. Winning this race means a lot to me as well. Just a big thanks to our partners, UniFirst, NAPA, Hooters, Kelley Blue Book, Mountain Dew, Chevrolet, all our partners that make this go around.”
2020 Cham2020 Championship (November 8, 2020) – Elliott dominated the playoffs, leading all playoff drivers in laps led (564), points earned (364), stage points (110) and average running position (5.9) in the previous nine post-season races.
His victory came six years to the day after he won the NASCAR Xfinity Series championship. On Nov. 8, 2014, at 18 years, 11 months and 11 days, Elliott became the youngest Xfinity Series champion when he clinched the title, also at Phoenix Raceway.
Chase became the third-youngest NASCAR Cup Series champion at 24 years, 11 months and 11 days. He and father Bill also became the third father-son duo to win a NASCAR Cup Series title, joining Lee and Richard Petty and Ned and Dale Jarrett. Bill Elliott won the 1988 Cup Series championship while driving the No. 9 car.
“All you can dream for is an opportunity,” Elliott said. “I've been very fortunate to have that over the years. You know, and that's all thanks to some great people. My parents obviously have played a huge role. So many people to thank. Mr. Hendrick, for taking a chance on me and believing in me when a lot of people didn't. I think it really says a lot about him. And then to have a championship sponsor like NAPA, all of our partners, and Chevrolet, huge thanks to Team Hendrick and everybody at our shop that peaked at the right time. That's all we can ask for.”
#22: The Evolution of the Racing Tire
#23: Bill’s Wrecked Car
#24: Jack Smith
Jack was born in Illinois but his family moved to Georgia when he was two-years-old. For the next 35 years Georgia was home.
#25: Spencer Davis
Georgia native truck series driver trophy and truck display
#26: Chandler Smith
Georgia native truck series driver of KBM Motorsports with trophy display.