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Mangum’s historical efforts recognized by SBS

South Boston News
Racing historian Bill Mangum of Danville was honored with an award of appreciation from SBS general manager Cathy Rice during South Boston Speedway’s 60th anniversary celebration Saturday. (Randy Holmes photo) / August 28, 2017

NASCAR historian Bill Mangum of Danville earned well-deserved recognition at South Boston Speedway Saturday night.

South Boston Speedway celebrated its 60th anniversary Saturday, and chose that time to honor Mangum, who celebrates his 80th birthday next week.

SBS general manager Cathy Rice presented Mangum with an award of appreciation at the speedway.

NASCAR short track racing owes a significant debt of gratitude to fans like Mangum.

Mangum goes back to the founding days of SBS. “If you ever need to know anything about history, you talk to Bill, because he can tell you. He’s been back to the Richard Petty days,”said Rice.

Mangum remembered when Daytona was racing on the beach.

“He’s so devoted to this sport (racing),” said Rice.

Mangum is always willing to share knowledge and information about racing.

Mangum gave the command to start the engines for the distinctive Southern Ground Pounders racing event.

“I’ve been to a lot of race tracks. (SBS) is the best one going,” said Mangum.

“It’s a lot of places I could go on a Saturday night,” said Mangum. “My heart’

s right here (SBS).

“My daddy won some races down here,” said Mangum.

Mangum has made a lot of friends over the years at the track and beyond, and they have been loyal forever. “It’s what keeps me going,” he said.

“Gentleman, start your vintage cars,” said Mangum, giving the command to highlight a considerable slice of SBS history.

The Southern Pounders field displayed a collection of history that any race fan can appreciate, and put on a heck of a show in honor of the speedway.

Barry Dalton brought his modified car to the field, a 1937 Chevy Coupe.

There were sportsman entries, a 1936 Dodge in a modified class; a 1941 Packard Coupe in the modified; a 1963 Ford Falcon, a 1966 Chevy sportsman entry; and much more.

A number of notable racing figures were on hand Saturday night for the milestone.

The competitors in the regional touring Southern Ground Pounders racing series brought a vision of yesteryear racing their Modified and Late Model Sportsman cars in a 25-lap race Saturday night.

When the checkered flag flew Jimmy Rice picked up the overall win and the win in the Late Model Sportsman division, with Mack Tatum winning the Modified division.

SBS had some notable race machines on display, including a car once driven by the late Lennie Pond, an entry once driven the late Earl Brooks, who ran the old Grand National circuit; the famous the famous no. 11 driven by Roy Hendrick, the son of NASCAR and local Hall of Famer Ray Hendrick, arguably the best driver ever to run on a regular basis at SBS; and an historic car driven by local racing legend Garland Ricketts.

There was also a replica of the famed no. 21 Wood Brothers Ford.

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