Dirt track racing is a family affair for Adams
Published 3:17 pm Tuesday, June 25, 2013
By Fred Guarino
The Lowndes Signal
Dirt track racing at Butler County Motorsports Park in Greenville on Saturday nights may have started out as a hobby for Randy Adams of Fort Deposit, but it has turned into a family affair.
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“I enjoy my kids because my kids most of the time go with me,” Adams said of the Saturday night races in Greenville.
“I know that on Friday nights they are working on cars and Saturday nights with me. I’m not worried about them out on the road, you know — they are with me,” he said.
Adams said in addition to his sons Aaron, 22, and Andrew, 20, who race, he has two daughters who also go to the races with him, Alex, 21, and Abbey, 23, as well as his wife Faye.
And he said his mother, Joyce, “doesn’t miss a race.” Helping him out are Stephen Tilley, son-in-law Jake Newton and Trey Bowen.
Adams is owner of Randy’s Wrecker & Collision in Fort Deposit, where he operates a wrecker service, does bodywork and mechanical service and sells used vehicles.
He said his passion for dirt track racing began when his first cousin Jimmy Thagard was a driver and his uncle Bo Thagard owned the track in Greenville. Bo Thagard, he said, still owns the Butler County Motorsports Park.
Adams said Fat Boys Racing, the group name he still races under, were all good friends who built a front-wheel drive car and won with it the first time out.
He said the group included, in addition to himself and his sons, Jack Callen, Wayne Lee, Eddie Buck, Todd Adams, Jeff Brown, “Goat” Fussell, the late “Uncle Jessie,” who built engines, Malcolm Callen and his sons Ben, Aaron and Andrew, John Missildine and Curt Ryals.
According to Adams, all the guys had cars and drove except for Uncle Jessie, Fussell, Brown and Buck.
Adams said Uncle Jessie built the engines back then. But he stresses today, “I would never be able to race if it were not for Jeff Brown because he puts a lot of time in these cars to help us.”
Adams said the first race car built by Fat Boys Racing built as a group was a front-wheel drive Oldsmobile Delta 88, which driven by Wayne Lee.
The car Adams can be seen racing around the 4/10th mile dirt track in Greenville now is a Track-Star Late Model built in Cuba, Ala. with a Chevrolet 604 Crate engine.
What keeps Adams coming back to the dirt track?
“First, I enjoy all my friends and family, the camaraderie… I enjoy all of us being together enjoying the friendship,” Adams said.
“Secondly, I enjoy the challenge of trying to win,” he said.
He won a mid-season championship in the Super Hobby Class, the season championship in 2005 in the Hobby Class and came in third in the Crate Late Model Class one year.
Adams said he went from Hobby Class to the Late Model Class, which he said “is a lot more competitive,” where he also won first, second and third place.
Adams said he’s raced in nearly every race held at Butler County Motorsports Park in Greenville since 2000.
Though racing may seem dangerous, Adams said they use all kinds of safety equipment to ensure safety.
Adams said you have wrecks, but with the helmets, kind of roll cages and safety equipment being used, “I feel safer in my car racing than I do going to the track.”
Adams said he had one bad wreck when he “got together with another guy” and his car went off the back of the track, flipped in the air and landed on its roof. He said it knocked him out and he didn’t remember anything from the accident, but was back racing as soon as possible.
On the funny side, Adams said everyone liked to watch Jack Callen, who might cut through the infield during a race. And he said John Missildine ran on the wall sideways once, which was more comical than the entertainment that was featured that night.
But there are more special reasons Adams likes dirt track racing.
He said even bigger than the racing itself “is seeing the other racers and just talking with them and cutting up. I really enjoy that.”
Bigger still, “I really do enjoy seeing kids,” Adams said. “They come to see the cars and they want to come get their picture taken with you. It’s special to me. That means more to me than anything I could do for them.”
Adams also said he’s given lots of his trophies away to children. “If I would win a trophy, I’d give it away to a kid there that night. I really enjoy that. I enjoy giving back.”
Adams said there is racing every other Saturday night at Butler County Motorsports Park in Greenville at 7 p.m. He said admission is $10 per person and pit access is $25. But children under 12 are admitted free.
Adams said there will be big fireworks show the weekend of the Fourth of July.
Adams serves on the Fort Deposit Town Council because he said he’s trying to help Fort Deposit grow. Adams has been in business for himself since 1987. His father was from Fort Deposit and graduated from Lowndes County High School, but Adams was born in Greenville and graduated from Fort Dale Academy.
He attended college at LBW and AUM where he studied business management. He moved to Fort Deposit in 1994.
Latrelle Adams, his father, passed way in 2004.
Adams has one grandson, Mason Newton, age 1.