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Race track manager vows lawsuits

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May 7, 2008

Dougherty County -- The Albany Speedway manager says racism and retaliation are forcing him out of business.

Two days after the County Commission ordered the Racetrack owners to build a 25 foot high berm around the track to reduce noise, Tim Pafford vows to file lawsuits against commissioners and the Radium Springs Homeowners Association.

Albany Speedway manager Tim Pafford is mad, and says he will file multi-million dollar lawsuits against Commissioners and Radium Spring Homeowners Association.  

Pafford said "guys we going to sue them for lots of money. Multi-million dollars in both cases. And we can hardly wait to go to court with them, because you have mistreated my people."

Monday the Commission told Pafford and track owner Bill Farnsworth that they would have to build a 25 foot high dirt berm around the track to block the noise. Pafford said that could cost three million dollars, so the track is shut down, the 22 employees are out of work, and that the community is the worse for it.  

Pafford said "this was their way to railroad me. We've had 26,000 people attend here in 60 days. More than all other sports combined in the community. We brought more economic business than all the other sports combined. This is their way to shut you up."

 Pafford said homeowners and Commissioners did not like him because he was financially well off, and that Second District Commissioner Jon Hayes showed racism in his opposition.

"Racism is an ugly thing. We have a lot of African American clientele here. As we have had in the past. At the dragway and everywhere I've ever been. But it certainly looks like racism is involved," Pafford said.

 Commissioner Jon Hayes said "well, I don't have a response to that. I certainly wouldn't dignify that." Hayes said the Commission struggled with this debate, before making a tough decision.

Pafford said leaving the Drag Strip next door open without a noise berm points out their hypocrisy, and he has hired five lawyers to get a final resolution in court. Pafford said "Radium Springs, county commission, hear me. I ain't coming to a gun fight with a knife. I am coming with a big gun," he said, with laughter.

About a dozen race track supporters backed up Pafford during his announcement. Pafford said in the next five days he'll announce a new race track venture in Coffee County.

Albany Speedway owner Bill Farnsworth said he is already taking bids on the stands and equipment at the Racetrack and the land is still for sale.

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