Where in the World is Thunder Road? - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Where in the World is Thunder Road?

October 18, 2002

It's the 1930's. The state is locked deep in the depression. And out of the back roads roars a new way to make ends meet-- running moonshine.

"Times were hard then, real hard. People had to do whatever they could find to try to make a living. Some of those things weren't legal," Dan said.

And from guys bragging about who had the fastest ride came the fastest growing sport -- auto racing. Many champions of the sport have their roots right here in Georgia. So Dan Elliott has helped set up this shrine to horsepower and twisted sheet metal.

See Bill Elliott's car straight from the track, grime and all. This is the last car he ran as an owner-operator. The very first trophies given in the sport are here, and so is your chance to experience a few G's going into the turn.

But the real experience is learning the Nascar story, and the story of motorsport pioneers. Dan knows his racing history, as well as the dangers of racing. He was on a pit crew changing tires. "We had a guy who lost his spleen in a pit-road wreck, and a few years later, he lost his life..."

He misses the days of being in the pit, and when racing was for the fun of it, not for big business profit. But he is still a big part of the Nascar family.

In fact he's related to it. His brother is Bill Elliott--awesome Bill from Dawsonville. And while Bill is on the track, Dan is on the floor of Thunder Road, ready to take you on a high RPM tour of the dirt roads where moonshining paved the way to Nascar victories.

Thunder Road opened May 11th and is already planning an expansion to house more race cars.

Thunder Road is also known as the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame, and is located in Dawsonville, north of Atlanta in Dawson County.

posted at 5:00PM by dave.miller@walb.com