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Former racecar driver honored at ceremony
Driver honored to be in hall of fame

AUGUSTA --- Five men, all deeply devoted to auto racing through the years, recently were inducted into the Augusta International Speedway Preservation Society Hall of Fame.

One of those included Thomson's Herman McTier.

Mr. McTier, the owner of McTier Used Auto Parts near Thomson, raced cars years ago at the old Augusta International Raceway, which today is known as Diamond Lakes, a recreational complex near Hephzibah.

Along with Mr. McTier, four other men were enshrined into the local Racing Hall of Fame. They included: Al "Buddy" Gormley, of Augusta; Bill Howell, of Aiken; Lester Durham, of Augusta; and the late T.Y. Powell, of Augusta. Mr. Powell was 91 when he died.

Rex White, of Fayetteville, Ga., former NASCAR racer, was the guest of honor during the ceremony.

Jeff Gilder, of Columbia, who serves as the president of Racers Reunion, also was honored by club members.

Mr. McTier recently suffered a series of strokes and still is under a doctor's care.

"I love it," said Mr. McTier of the honor bestowed to him by AIRPS officials.

"I feel really honored to be in the AIRPS Hall of Fame. I'm really glad that I was chosen."

During the years that Mr. McTier raced, he competed against some of the biggest names in racing history at the old track in Augusta.

"I loved racing," recalled Mr. McTier.

"I'd still be doing it today, if it was where I could. I love speed -- always have and I always will. The faster, the better."

Mr. McTier's wife accompanied him to the ceremony, as did his son, Tony, and his family Mr. McTier's daughter, Dianne Williams, all of Thomson.

"This is a great honor for him," Mrs. Williams said of her father.

"It is fun being around something that means so much to him."

His son, who also is his father's business partner and a former racecar driver, too, said the honor paid to his father "is probably the highlight of his career."

Mr. McTier's wife said she didn't think anything could have prevented her husband from attending the AIRPS Hall of Fame ceremony.

"It really does mean a lot to him and we thank the officials here for honoring him like this," added Mrs. McTier.

Web posted on Thursday, September 24, 2009

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