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HSR Vintage Racers Visit Road Atlanta this Weekend

18 September 1997

The Historic SportsCar Racing (HSR) group will be visiting Road Atlanta this weekend. The Tampa, FL based sanctioning body is quietly becoming one of the most successful ogranizations of the vintage racing industry. Under the guidance of Joe Pendergast the organization has grown from 50 cars per race to an average of 275 vintage entries. Every type of open-wheel and closed-wheel sportscar and NASCAR racecars show up at an HSR event.

Pendergast's philosophy of vintage racing is to "run what you brung." The series is concerned with protecting the history and integrity of every race vehicle but at the same time does not require the cars to be concours level in preparation. This allows for racers of all pocketbooks to participate.

One of the more interesting new racing groups that HSR has put together is the vintage NASCAR race group. Aside from being plentiful in supply the cars are by comparison relatively inexpensive to own and operate. When the group was first put together three years ago it was comprised of about 5 cars. Today the NASCAR racegroup has over 40 cars. The Spring Fling at Sebring this past March was the second annual Al Holbert Memorial race. The event was organized to recognize the contribution by Holbert to the motorsports world. Aside from the various GTP cars in attendance which was a treat unto itself, there were 34 vintage NASCAR racecars in the paddock. The garage area looked like Daytona south. When the 34 cars came around for the green flag you half expected Bill France, Jr. to be seen somewhere in the facility. The symphony of 34 NASCAR racecars barreling down the back straight of Sebring was sweet music indeed. The only bad part about the race was that it only lasted 10 laps.

The Road Atlanta visit in the fall is one of the last chances for some of the weekend warriors to take their pride and joy out onto the track. A demanding track, Road Atlanta is finally being operated by a group that has not only the wherewithall to manage the facility but also the money to maintain the facility. In the spring of 1997 the Panoz family purchased Road Atlanta. It will become, once again, one of the premier facilities on the East Coast.

So if you are looking for some racing fun this weekend come on out to Road Atlanta you will not be disappointed.

David Treffer -- The Auto Channel