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Go-cart track hosts grand opening in 1960
Bulloch History
roger allen
Roger Allen

Note: The following is one of a series of articles looking at events in the history of Bulloch County.

On May 12, 1960, the Bulloch Times announced the opening of the new Go-Kart-Raceway on South Main Street across from the Skate-N-Bowl. The owners were F.C. Parker Jr. and J.G. Altman.  

They arranged to get the track sanctioned by the Savannah Go-Kart Club as an official go-cart track. It was announced nearly 100 go-karts would be on hand for the grand opening.  

Art Ingels, famous Indy car driver, built the first real go-cart. McCullough chain-saw engines were modified to power the first contraptions. Go-Cart Manufacturing in Azusa, California sold the first commercial go-carts in 1957. 

The grand opening day was scheduled for May 15, 1960. Master of ceremonies for the day would be Ed Rahal, professional race-car driver and winner at Daytona Speedway. 

There would also be special prizes to be given out in the ladies, men and children categories. On hand to signal the official start of the race was Statesboro Mayor William A. Bowen.  

Also, in attendance would be U.S. Congressman Prince H. Preston, who would have the honor of leading the first group of carts out of the gate in the brand new venture. 

Chief timer was to be J.G. "Buck" Farrar. He just happened to be the Simplex Manufacturing's Factory Representative (the track's timing system builder).  

The Times announced that the new go-cart raceway track's Chrondek photo-electric timer was a state-of-the-art device that was accurate to 1/100th of a second. 

In a backwards look, the Bulloch Herald of May 26 front page showed a photograph of the grand opening race, with Mayor Bowen leading in his go-cart from the start, suit-coat and all. 

On May 12, the Bulloch Times had a paid advertisement which heralded the arrival on Statesboro of “the newest sport in the county. See the go-cart races on the new track on South Main street extension.” 

The paper promised “Thrills Galore, fun the whole family will enjoy!” The races would begin “Sunday, May 15, at 2 p.m.” and the cost of admission would be 35 cents for children and 75 cents for adults.  

Then, the Bulloch Herald of May 19, 1960 advertised “Brand New! Starts Sunday! Go-Cart Races. Thrills! Fun! Prizes! Plenty of Seats for All! At the Go-Cart Raceway in Statesboro, Ga.” 

The track, it stated, was located on the South Main Street Extension, U.S. 301, across from the Skate’ r Bowl. It promised races for all ages, Kids, ladies and men.” 

The first race was to start at 1:30 p.m. on May 21, and it revealed “Sunday’s races will be under the supervision of the Savannah Go-Cart Club.”  

Then, on Aug. 4, 1960, the Bulloch Herald had an advertisement which stated there would be “Go-Kart Racing Every Friday Night,” or on Saturday night in case of rain. 

The owners of the “Statesboro Raceway” promised cash prizes for all winners, and revealed their track was paved in order to avoid the common problem of being covered in mud, dirt and dust. 

Located on South Main Street extension, which was U.S. 301 South, the time trials for these races began at 7 p.m., with the main races beginning at 8 p.m. 

Roger Allen is a local lover of history who provides a brief look each week at the area's past. Email him at

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