Julius Hughes – Atlanta, GA – Deceased – Began drag racing in 1955. Joined the Georgia Tech Auto Club in 1956, and, with the help of Hoyt Grimes, built a gas dragster, and competed at Ted Edwards’ Drag Strip thorough the 50s. Raced at the 1955 National Championship Drag Races in Kansas City, MO, winning in his class in a ’32 Ford Roadster, which was later featured in a Hot Rod Magazine article entitled “The Georgia Foursome.” Scored wins in the 1955 Winter National at Daytona Beach and the 1956 Oklahoma City Nationals. From 1955 to 1964, he directed racing events at Ted Edwards’ Dragstrip in Fairburn, GA. Opened the Atlanta Speed Shop in 1960, the first speed shop in Georgia. Won the D/Gas Class at the 1959 Nationals at Detroit driving his famed “Zot” 1955 Chevy. Won AA/Altered class at the 1964 US Nationals driving “Zot II”. Set a National record with a 9.55 ET at 162 mph. In 1964, he began management of the Newton County Drag Strip in Covington. The name was changed to the Atlanta Speed Shop Dragway and became the first NHRA sanctioned drag strip in Georgia. Held the annual “Atlanta $10,000 Drag Race” for the first time in 1964, and continued until 1972. Won the 1965 NHRA Division 2 Top Fuel championship driving the nitro-powered “Zot III”. His last drag race as a driver was in the 1971 Winternationals. During the 70s, he and his son, Julius III, began racing drag boats, campaigning in the “Zot Squirt”. In 1986, Julius, who had been diagnosed with diabetes and had been on insulin since he was 16, had a kidney transplant, which ended his driving career. He would continue as a member of the racing industry. He would become an ARCA and NASCAR car owner, with such drivers as David Sosebee, Rob Mororso, and Jimmy Hensley. In 1989, he was inducted into the NHRA Division 2 Hall of Fame. He would continue to operate the Atlanta Speed Shop until his death on February 15, 1992. He was posthumously inducted into the East Coast Drag Times Hall of Fame in 2003.