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Racing fan has fond memories of Augusta track

HEPHZIBAH, Ga. -- Jimmy Kellett couldn't have been happier last weekend.

He was on hollowed ground where the Augusta International Speedway used to attract thousands of race car fans on a regular basis.

Since a child, Kellett, owner of Kellett's Auto Savage near Laurens, S.C., has loved the sport of automobile racing.

His father, the late J.P. Kellett, who worked in cotton mills, was an avid racing fan, too.

"He'd take me to races with him when I was a little boy," recalled Jimmy Kellett during an interview with The McDuffie Mirror and Morris News Service at Diamond Lakes Regional Park near Hephzibah last Saturday. "I've loved racing ever since."

He has seen many races -- both in person and on television.

"It's a great sport," said Kellett.

Today, Kellett is the proud owner of a 1962 Pontiac Catalina, as close to the one like the late great Glenn "Fireball" Roberts drove as possible.

"It's a one of a kind replica," said Kellett, while looking inside it during his visit to the 50th anniversary of Augusta International Speedway. The event honored several late race car drivers, including Dwayne "Tiny" Lund.

Roberts won the 1962 Daytona 500, while Lund won it the following year in 1963.

"I wanted to build it as close to the one that Fireball Roberts drove as possible," said Kellett. "It's the only one ever authorized by the Roberts' family."

It took Kellett two years to build the replica race car, which bares the No. 22 on the side of the doors.

"I started building the car in 1997 and finished it in 1998," he said.

Since then, Kellett has shown off his car to race fans all over the country.

Roberts was killed in the World 600 Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Memorial Day weekend 1964.



Web posted on Thursday, September 23, 2010













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