Way Back Wednesday: Sanders Beats Them All at Gresham

Ronnie Sanders was a Late Model hero in home state of Georgia and throughout the Southeast region.  The 1977 Snowball Derby winner was alway mixing it up with the best of his generation, and on this day in 1984 he topped them all at what is now Gresham Motorsports Park (GA).

 

Sanders didn’t race full-time with the All Pro Series, but he did log over half his finishes in the top 10.  In 1984 the series visited what was then known as JefCo Speedway for the Prototype Engines 200.  You want to talk about a stacked field:  Jody Ridley, Butch Lindley, Donnie and Davey Allison, Freddie Fryar, Mickey Gibbs and several others were competing that day.  The race featured seven total Snowball Derby wins and a 200-lap dog fight among the best of the era.

 

Sanders dominated much of the race, leading 83 of the 200 laps and beating out Alton Jones for the win.  It was the third and final All Pro win of his career as he would bounce from series to series.

 

Gresham was always kind to Sanders, who followed up his with with a second-place finish in the May race.  His toughest race to win was also at Gresham, as he tried over a dozen times before he won the World Crown 200 in 2005.  It was one of the final wins of his career, but he won at Gresham as a car owner twice after retiring from the driver's seat.

 

Nobody should be surprised to see Mr. Ronnie Sanders at Gresham this year when the track reopens for the Peach State Classic on May 17-18.

 

Other Racing Events on This Date 

 

1984: Freddie Fryar won an All Pro Truck race at what is now Gresham Motorsports Park (GA).  The series only ran one season and a total of 10 races.  Freddie Fryar won eight of those events that season.  Fryar also excelled in the All Pro Late Model division with nine career wins and the 1983 series title.

 

1988: Dick Anderson was victorious in the Cam2 100 at Hialeah Speedway (FL).  Anderson was a terror on the short tracks in Florida and this was one of his four career wins against the touring stars of the All Pro Series.

 

2006: On the UARA Series Late Model Stock Car tour, Alex Yontz scored his second career win on this date in 2006. Yontz would finish second in points in 2006, but his crowing achievement came later in the season when he won at Martinsville.  http://www.speed51archives.com/2006stories/Clients/Yontz_post_myrtlebeach.html

 

2006: Junior Miller went flag-to-flag at Greenville-Pickens Speedway to win the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour event in South Carolina.  Miller would return to win the race again in 2007 to win the only two NWSMT events ever held at Greenville. http://www.speed51archives.com/2006stories/Mods_SMT/Post_Greenville_4-06_JuniorMiller.html

 

- Story by: Elgin Traylor, Speed51 Stat Boy

- All Pro Series Historical Photo

Way Back Wednesday: Sanders Beats Them All at Gresham