Randy Adams and his son, Andrew, show off Randy's Late Model Crate race car at Randy's Wrecker & Collision in Fort Deposit. Both Randy and Andrew race Late Models at the Butler County Motorsports Park in Greenville. (Advocate Staff/Fred Guarino)
Randy Adams and his son, Andrew, show off Randy's Late Model Crate race car at Randy's Wrecker & Collision in Fort Deposit. Both Randy and Andrew race Late Models at the Butler County Motorsports Park in Greenville. (Advocate Staff/Fred Guarino)

Archived Story

The need for speed

Published 1:43pm Thursday, June 27, 2013

Dirt track racing at Butler County Motorsports Park in Greenville on Saturday nights may have started out as a hobby for Fort Deposit’s Randy Adams, but it has turned into a family affair.

“I enjoy it 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. They are with me.”

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 with his car are Stephen Tilley, his son-in-law Jake Newton and Trey Bowen.

Adams, who owns and operates Randy’s Wrecker & Collision, 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 still owns and operates the track.

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, Jimmy “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 that if not for Brown, he’d likely not be able to put a car on the track.

“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,” he said.

Adams said the first race car built by Fat Boys Racing was a front-wheel drive Delta 88, which driven by Wayne Lee.

The car Adams can be seen racing around the quarter-mile dirt track in Greenville now is a Track-Star Late Model built in Cuba, Ala., with a Chevrolet 604 Crate engine.

While the cars have changed, the driving force that keeps Adams returning to the track remains the same.

“First, I enjoy all my friends and family — the camaraderie,” Adams said. “I enjoy all of us being together enjoying the friendship. Secondly, I enjoy the challenge of trying to win.”

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.

“I really do enjoy seeing kids. 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 a lot of his trophies he’s won over the years to children.

“If I would win a trophy, I’d give it away to a kid there that night,” he said. “I really enjoy that. I enjoy giving back.”

According to Adams, there is racing every other Saturday night at Butler County Motorsports Park in Greenville at 7 p.m. Admission is $10 per person and pit access is $25. But children under 12 are admitted free.

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