At the races: new exhibit at Cherokee museum highlights 45 years at Dixie Speedway
by Rebecca Johnston
May 11, 2014 12:22 AM | 1817 views | 0 0 comments | 28 28 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Ricky Collett takes in the Dixie Speedway Exhibit at the Cherokee History Museum on Wednesday. The temporary exhibit highlights the 45 years Dixie Speedway in Woodstock has attracted late-model racing to Cherokee County.
Ricky Collett takes in the Dixie Speedway Exhibit at the Cherokee History Museum on Wednesday. The temporary exhibit highlights the 45 years Dixie Speedway in Woodstock has attracted late-model racing to Cherokee County.
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Racing trophies are seen as a part of the Dixie Speedway Exhibit at the Cherokee History Museum on Wednesday.
Racing trophies are seen as a part of the Dixie Speedway Exhibit at the Cherokee History Museum on Wednesday.
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A promotion for the Dixie Speedway Exhibit is seen just outside of the Cherokee History Museum.
A promotion for the Dixie Speedway Exhibit is seen just outside of the Cherokee History Museum.
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Part of the Dixie Speedway Exhibit is seen at the Cherokee History Museum. The exhibit features a pictorial history of the Speedway, as well as information about the drivers and the Swims family, who built Dixie, said Stefanie Joyner, executive director of the Cherokee Historical Society.
Part of the Dixie Speedway Exhibit is seen at the Cherokee History Museum. The exhibit features a pictorial history of the Speedway, as well as information about the drivers and the Swims family, who built Dixie, said Stefanie Joyner, executive director of the Cherokee Historical Society.
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CANTON — A new exhibit is taking the green flag at the Cherokee County Historical Society Museum, as race enthusiasts rush to see “At the Races: Dixie Speedway.”

The temporary exhibit highlights the 45 years Dixie Speedway in Woodstock has attracted late-model racing to Cherokee County.

Saturday nights at Dixie have become a legend, with drivers who have raced at Dixie including Bobby Allison, Bill Elliott, Dale Earnhardt, Richard Petty, Scott Bloomquist and Charlie Mincey.

The exhibit features a pictorial history of the Speedway, as well as information about the drivers and the Swims family, who built Dixie, said Stefanie Joyner, executive director of the Cherokee Historical Society.

“First opened in 1969 as a dirt track, it was paved for a time and then converted back to dirt,” Joyner said.

The exhibit will run until July 26 and is located in Suite 140 of the historic marble courthouse in downtown Canton.

Racing legend Bud Lunsford and Cherokee County businessman Max Simpson were among the early owners and operators.

For the greatest part of its existence, Dixie has been operated by the Mickey Swims family.

“I heard Dixie was for sale, and I went down there on a Friday afternoon to see about it,” Mickey Swims is quoted in the book, “Cherokee County, Georgia, A History.” “They said it wasn’t for sale for just anybody, but they’d sell it to me because they knew I would carry it on.” Swims, along with wife Martha and their children, the late Mike Swims and Mia Swims-Green, still work there today.

Mike’s son, Chase Swims, is also involved in the family business.

For those who want to learn more about the speedway, the museum is at 100 North St. in Canton and the exhibit is free and open to the public.

The museum operating hours are Wednesday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

For more information, call (770) 345-3288 or visit www.rockbarn.org.

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