CORDELE, GA (WALB) - There aren't many people who have meant more to motorsports in south Georgia than the late Marvin Ragan.
Ragan owned and ran Watermelon Capital Speedway for a decade, helping it to become one of the top short track destinations in the country. This weekend, the track will again host some of the best drivers around as they race to honor Ragan.
The winner of Saturday's Four Star Freightliner 125 will receive the first ever Marvin Ragan Memorial Cup.
"He brought the world of NASCAR to south Georgia, and we're just trying to keep that tradition going with some of the bigger events," says Crisp Motorsports Park owner Scott Sumner. "This is just a very special occasion for us to remember him, and it's going to be very sentimental to the drivers. Whoever wins the first ever Memorial Cup, it's going to be special."
Marvin's nephew, NASCAR driver David Ragan, won't be able to make it to Cordele this weekend as he will be racing at Pocono. But he says this honor is appreciated by his family, and is a perfect way to recognize his uncle.
"Uncle Marvin was just a racer. He knew all aspects of the racing world and he appreciated those folks coming out and spending their hard earned money to work on those race cars, and buy those tires and buy that fuel, and put on a good show for the fans."
Some of the sport's biggest names will compete for the Ragan Memorial Cup. Harrison Burton, son of former NASCAR driver Jeff Burton, will be in the field, as will Speedfest 2016 champ Bubba Pollard.
Gates open at noon Saturday. Practice begins at 2:30 p.m. with qualifying at 6:45 p.m. Pre-race ceremonies begin at 7:30 p.m.