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Posted: Tuesday, May 28th 2013 at 9:56am

GRHOF announces 2013 inductees

By Staff
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The Georgia Racing Hall of Fame announced its Class of 2013 inductees on Saturday. They include L-R: Charles Barrett, Frank Christian, Huston Platt, Hank Blalock, and Freddy Fryar. (Image courtesy GRHOF)
DAWSONVILLE - This year's inductees into the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame (GRHOF) were announced over the weekend.

They include a former NASCAR and short track ace, a pioneer Peach State open wheel racer, a trailblazing stock car team owner, one of the most successful short track racers in the southeast, and a drag racing legend and pioneer.

The 2013 inductees are Charles Barrett of Cleveland, Hank Blalock of Decatur, Frank Christian of Dahlonega, Freddy Fryar of Chattanooga, Tenn., and Huston Platt of Buford.

The five new GRHOF inductees were chosen from a list of 15 semi-finalists, all of whom were honored during Saturday’s event at the GRHOF in Dawsonville. The inductees were chosen by an 18-member panel of voters.

The 2013 Georgia Racing Hall of Fame Induction banquet will be held on Dec. 13 at the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame.

A limited number of seats for the banquet will be available. For more information, call the Hall of Fame at (706) 216-RACE (7223) or go online to www.georgiaracinghof.com.

Here’s a closer look at the five inductees to the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame for 2013:

Charles Barrett – Cleveland – Winner of approximately 250 feature events – Won 27 Late Model sportsman features in 1972 – Won the 10th anniversary 150 lap Sportsman championship race at Anderson in 1972 – 1968, 69, 70 Anderson track champion- Won several championship events at Anderson between 1967-1972 - Competed in several NASCAR Sprint Cup events for car owner George Elliott, including a 10th at Talladega in 1973, 18th at Atlanta in 1973.

Hank Blalock – Decatur - Deceased - Competed in Midget Cars across the East Coast - Served in the US Coast Guard during World War II - Began racing in 1946 in Midgets - Scored wins at Lakewood Speedway in Atlanta, GA the Peach Bowl in Atlanta, GA, Columbia Speedway in Columbia, SC, Augusta Speedway in Augusta, GA, -Was injured in a flip at Plant Field in Tampa, FL late in 1947 while leading, suffered brain concussion, burns, and a shoulder fracture - Served as President of the SRDC (Southern Racing Drivers Club) in 1948 - Was points champion in 1949 - Competed at Lakewood Speedway in Atlanta, GA, Lake Winneepesaukah in Chattanooga, TN, Macon Speedway in Macon, GA, Looper's Speedway in Gainesville, GA, Skyway Speedway in Calhoun, GA, Columbia Speedway in Columbia, SC, Lithonia Speedway in Lithonia, GA, Augusta Speedway in Augusta, GA, Garden City Speedway in Augusta, GA, Savannah Speedway in Savannah, GA, Birmingham International Raceway in Birmingham, AL, Bowman Grey Stadium in Winston-Salem, NC, Broadway Speedway in Knoxville, TN, Pensacola Motor Speedway in Pensacola, FL, Langhorne Speedway in Langhorne, PA, Greenville-Pickens Speedway in Greenville, SC, Boyd's Speedway in Ringgold, GA, New Orleans Motor Speedway in New Orleans, LA, and Idle Hour Speedway in Phenix City, AL - Was considered a strong competitor, always finishing in the points and in the money - Was a member of the Southern Racing Enterprises, AAA, and NASCAR - Suffered a massive head injury in a crash while leading at Toccoa Speedway in Toccoa, GA on Aug. 14, 1955. After spending 6 months in a coma, Blalock passed away in early 1956.

Frank Christian - Dahlonega - Deceased - Was a pioneer in multi-car ownership, winning 22 races in his career. Drivers included his wife, Hall of Famer Sara Christian, Bob Flock, Speedy Thompson, Buddy Shuman, Banjo Matthews, Fonty Flock, Buck Baker, and Curtis Turner. Christian himself competed in several events as an owner/driver. His cars had an average starting place of sixth and an average finishing place of 12th. Christian's cars scored 35 poles in a six year span. Christian is credited with bringing the moonshine runners out of the mountains and into the first organized modern stock car race, held at Atlanta's Lakewood Speedway in November of 1938. Was the car owner for the first Chevrolet to win a NASCAR Sprint Cup race, with Fonty Flock as a driver, in 1955 at Columbia, SC.

Freddy Fryar – Chattanooga, Tenn. - Won 826 feature events. Began racing in the early 1950s, following his brother Harold's footsteps, at the age of 14. First raced at Fort Oglethorpe Speedway in Fort Oglethorpe, GA. Competed in Modifieds on the beach at Daytona in 1956, 57. Finished second to Bobby Allison in the NASCAR Modified Championship in 1964. Competed in NASCAR Modifieds, Grand Nationals, and Late Model Sportsman and USAC Stock Cars in the 60s, 70s, and 80s. Won seven NASCAR Series track championships. Won state championships in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. All Pro Series champion in 1983. Won All Pro Truck championship in 1984. Ran NASCAR's Winston Cup series in several events from 1956-1971. Won the Snowball Derby twice, 1979 and 1981. Won at Mobile International Speedway, Jackson International Speedway, Montgomery Motor Speedway, Caraway Speedway, Gresham Motorsports Park (then Georgia International Speedway), Corpus Christi Speedway, Five Flags Speedway and more. Retired form racing in 1987. Worked for various NASCAR teams for 15 years, and served as a driving instructor at the Richard Petty Driving School.

Huston Platt – Buford - Deceased – Began drag racing in 1959 - Established his reputation piloting the famed "Dixie Twister", beating out several big names, including Richard Petty during Petty's stint into drag racing in 1965. - Platt's 66 Chevy II became the fastest and quickest unblown injected Chevy in the country, turning runs in the upper 8 seconds at 160 mph and setting several records - Competed in match races against Ronnie Sox, Junior Johnson, Phil Bonner, Arnie Beswick, Tommy Grove, among others - Was an independent, without factory backing. - Was a pioneer in the development of the famed "Funny Cars", which remains one of the most popular forms of drag racer today - Platt traveled around the country and into Canada to compete in his 1968 Chevy Camaro Funny Car known as the "Dixie Twister", which could turn times in the high 7 seconds and 185 plus mph - Served as his own engine builder - Worked with the Logghe brothers in developing special wheelie bars to keep cars like this on the ground off the starting line - Went on to race and defeat several major racers from around the country, including Don Nicholson, Connie Kalitta, Larry Reyes, Gene Snow and others - After a tragic accident at the Yellow River Drag Strip in 1970, Platt worked to improve safety aspects in drag racing - Platt would win the Funny Car Division II Championship in 1971 - Would retire a couple of years later - Would later take his restored Dixie Twister around the country on display and in exhibition runs. Was inducted in 2009 to the East Coast Drag Times Hall of Fame. Passed away Nov. 30, 2011.



Link: Georgia Racing Hall of Fame
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