Multiple scheduling issues have led Mount Airy Museum of Regional History to cancel this year’s version of “White Liquor and Dirt Tracks,” a popular program focusing on NASCAR’s Southern roots.
However, Museum Executive Director Matt Edwards is pledging that the event will gear up again in 2014.
Two key guests anticipated for the 2013 event that tentatively had been set for this coming Saturday were video producer Neal Hutcheson, known for his Emmy-winning documentary on legendary moonshiner “Popcorn” Sutton, and Daniel S. Pierce.
Pierce is a history professor at the University of North Carolina-Asheville who authored a book “Real NASCAR: White Lightning, Red Clay and Big Bill France.”
“Both of those guys, as it turns out, were unavailable,” said Edwards, the museum director, who said that Pierce is trying to finish up his latest book and Hutcheson’s attention has been diverted by another documentary.
Another issue arose with Bill Mangum, president of the North Carolina-Virginia Vintage Dirt Track Racers Association. “He was going to be out of the country,” Edwards said of the date set aside for the local event.
NASCAR historian Buz McKim, the curator of its Hall of Fame, also was eyed as one of the guests for this year’s “White Liquor and Dirt Tracks” program, which delves into the relationship between racing and its moonshining origins. Some of stock car racing’s legendary figures, such as Junior Johnson, honed their skills running liquor on North Carolina’s backroads.
“We’d been talking with several of the folks who participated in recent years, and as it turned out their schedules weren’t going to work out,” Edwards said.
“We really just decided that rather than just present a sub-par program, we’d rather put it off this year,” the museum official added.
“Once we started having these cancellations and scheduling conflicts, we really thought we were better off just to step back and come back in 2014 with a full program again.”
“White Liquor and Dirt Tracks” was first held at the Mount Airy museum in 2010. It has included special exhibits, lectures and a roundtable discussion on the history of NASCAR featuring some of the sport’s top figures.
Last year, for example, the participants included Dale Inman, Richard Petty’s former crew chief and a recent NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee; retired racer Dave Marcis; former NASCAR points champion Rex White; and others.
“White Liquor and Dirt Tracks” has proven to be a popular attraction for Mount Airy Museum of Regional History and “folks really enjoyed the event,” Edwards said.
He said the museum recently has fielded calls from racing fans wondering about this year’s schedule.
“We’ve had a few,” Edwards said.
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