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COLQUITT COUNTY, GA (WALB) - A south Georgia family says a race track built near their home in Colquitt County is destroying their family farm and quality of life.
The Lowery family is suing the track owner and the county, hoping to bring back a little more peace and quiet.
80-year-old Jack Lowery grew up on this farm. He and his wife Lorine have enjoyed the peaceful serenity of their land for more than 50 years. That all changed when Needmore Speedway held it's first stock-car race last July, attracting roughly 6,000 people. It lasted until 5:00 the next morning.
We're told that was an isolated incident. Most races are intended to end before midnight. There is no closing time for the track at this time.
The Lowery's attorney says the 3/8 mile track is roughly 3,500 feet from their front door and several hundred feet from their property line.
During races the Lowerys say they can barely talk on the phone. They say practice races and engine testing are so loud they can hardly sleep.
"Some people say they can't hear them but some people need hearing aids if they can't hear the cars at this race track," said Lowery who is hard of hearing.
The farm is the only economic value the Lowerys have to pass on to their grandchildren and great grandchildren. Lynn Najar lives across the street from her family.
"When I'm in the bed at night during a race, I feel like I'm in a beehive," said Najar. "It's just so loud. It's just rumbling all the time."
The lowerys complained Vickers road, near the track, is flooded with trash and beer cans after events. Some trash was still along the side of the road Monday.
They say people have even stopped to urinate in their driveway. The Lowery's pond sits down hill from the speedway. Since the track's construction they've seen a oily sheen on the surface. They like to fish here. The Georgia Environmental Protection Division is expected to investigate to see if that oil is coming from the track.
The Lowerys wrote letters to county commissioners and attended several meetings to express their concern.
"They laughed at us," Lowery noted. "They're only interested in the race track."
"I begged and pleaded with the county commissioners to help me but they ignored me," Najar said.
The family says they just want the peace and quiet they've enjoyed for more than 80 years.
We contacted county commissioners and the owner of the speedway. Neither wanted to comment on the million dollar lawsuit just yet.
The first practice race of this season at Needmore Speedway is this Saturday.