“Delivering a Potts Photo to the Hall”
By Gary Gasper
June 5, 2014
After the passing of National Dirt Late Model Hall of Famer Dick Potts in January of 2014,
I created a special photo of Dick to add to a calendar I had put together for my late friend.
Bob Markos and Bill Holder of the National Dirt Late Model Hall of Fame in Kentucky
liked it enough to ask if I’d like to donate a large copy to the Hall to add to the Potts memorabilia on display.
So on May 31st, Bob Markos, Induction Coordinator, his son Bobby, Hall website webmaster,
and I, embarked on a road trip to Walton, Kentucky. That is where the Hall of Fame sits, on the grounds
of Florence Speedway.
The following photos tell the story of a truly amazing place called the National Dirt Late Model Hall of Fame!
To find out more about the Hall of Fame, go to:
Should any fan or company be interested in supporting the Hall financially,
please contact Director Bill Holder at 937-122-0924 ( billholder@ webtv.net ).
Remember, this is a 501C3 not-for-profit organization and the contributions are tax-deductable.
The Hall, formed in 2001, had the building built in 2002. It measures about 2500 square feet.
It was erected using money obtained by raffling off a dirt late model car built from donated parts from suppliers.
Close to $50,000 worth of tickets were sold!
As I entered the Hall, my eyes immediately were captured by the Freddy Smith BAZOOKA body
hanging upside down on the opposite side of the building. The double zeros seem to be looking at you as you enter the Hall!
On the walls are donated sheet metal doors from Hall inductees. And the start of a “maze” of office panels
throughout the Hall to display photos of each inductee.
Space is limited, as you would expect, so a couple of “stackers” are used to display some cars within the Hall.
The Bob Pierce car has the upper bunk and Jack Boggs’ car awaits a possible bunkmate in the future!
Jeff Purvis (15) and “Racin'” John Mason’s cars displaying two different nose jobs.
These are the 2014 Hall of Fame inductees that will be officially inducted during a ceremony in early August.
And another showing Chub Frank.
A Pennsylvania native, Chub was inducted in 2004.
One panel showing some of the history of Jeff Purvis in photos.
Purvis, from Tennessee, was in the very first group of inductees in 2001.
Bob Pierce autographed the number 2 on his car. There are autographs everywhere on everything in the Hall!
Too many side panels to hang on the walls within the Hall. So they sit right now for fans to go through as they
visit. You hear a constant “clanking” of the sheet metal as you walk around!
Here’s one trophy case with a Hav-a-Tampa trophy filled with cigars!
Also, an Earl Baltes bobble head doll, among other things.
More sheet metal and autographed helmets from Hall of Famers.
In the maze of panels of photos. Just about everything displayed is somehow attached or screwed in
to prevent “sticky fingers” from grabbing a souvenir! I tried grabbing a side panel but it “clanked” and I got caught…!
The other side of the Pierce car with some racing jackets on display.
Pierce, from Illinois, class of 2003, continues to build winning cars for many drivers in different divisions of racing.
This is a beautifully restored 1970 Chevelle driven by Larry Moore and others.
Moore, from Ohio, was one of the first to be inducted into the Hall in 2001.
This car was owned by Emory Nichols. One thing about the Hall, it’s too quiet. This car needs to be idling!
A shot of the engine and a photo display of the restoration of this beauty.
Lots of Jack Boggs photos. Boggs is from Kentucky and the class of 2001!
Ohio’s Delmas Conley’s car hanging upside down will make one dizzy looking at it long enough.
Another area of the maze of photos with some posters and sheet metal.
Looks like there’s room for one more body on the ceiling.
Autographed die-cast late models secured in a glass case.
So how many of these do you have in your collection?
John Mason’s 80’s era late model shows young visitors the way racing was back in the day!
Mason from Ohio is from the class of 2003.
The long line of Hall of Famer’s driving uniforms adorn a complete wall.
The major contributors to the Hall of Fame who have helped immensely.
Attached to the Hall of Fame building is a tent, roughly 30’x40′ in size. In it are 6 late models.
Ray Godsey from Indiana and the class of 2003 drove this monster!
Alabama’s Red Farmer’s car. Red was inducted into the Hall in 2002.
Like I said earlier, autographs everywhere!
Russ Petro with that famous KI number. Petro another Hoosier and the class of 2003.
When we showed up at the Hall this particular Saturday afternoon to do a photo shoot, these two fine young men,
John Kline (showing the Earnhardt 3 fingers), and Michael Kline, hosed down all six cars inside the tent.
The tent sits just outside the fourth turn of Florence Speedway so you can imagine how dusty it gets inside.
Thanks guys for making the photos look cleaner!
The other side of Ronnie Johnson’s just washed late model. Ronnie from Tenn. is member of the 2004 class.
The Hurry’n Hoosier! Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2006.
When we arrived at the Hall, I was introduced to Bill Holder, the Executive Director. Upon presenting him with
the framed photo of Dick Potts, he immediately said “Let’s put it on his car”. Can’t tell you how flattered I am
to have a photo in the Hall of Fame. And, sitting on Dick Potts’ car!
Yes, my shirt is autographed!
Back inside the building, with Potts’ sheet metal among the mix.
Dick Potts photo panel.
This is a note to Bill Holder from Dick’s son Rick Potts. It shows the contributions donated
to the Hall in Dick Potts’ memory. All being put to good use.
How many of Dick Potts’ 521 feature wins were won wearing this uniform?
This trophy case has some neat stuff in it, as you will see…
This is the very first Eldora World 100 trophy won by Bruce Gould in 1971.
The famous globe trophies were then started the following year.
The only globe trophy in the Hall of Fame was donated by
1976 World 100 winner Charlie Hughes.
I sneaked next door to shoot some hot laps at Florence Speedway until I got hit by too many Kentucky pellets!
Just some of those who make it happen at the Hall of Fame in Kentucky!
Left to right: Bobby Markos (Website Webmaster), Joey Wilson (Governing Board), Bob Markos (Induction Coordinator),
Bill Holder (Executive Director), Jim Klette (Curator), David Poole (Governing Board), Robert Noe (Asst. Curator),
Michael Kline (HoF staff), John Kline (HoF staff). My thanks to all you see here for a most pleasurable experience.
Thanks to Bob and Bill for extra info obtained for this story. Put this on your list of places to visit while in Kentucky!
You won’t be disappointed.
Thanks for visiting!