Georgia Hall of Famer Archer dies at 76
Inaugural National Dirt Racing Association champion Leon Archer of Griffin, Ga., a 2003 inductee into the National Dirt Late Model Hall of Fame with more than 450 victories, has died. He was 76.
Archer’s death was reported by Christy L. Wall, a historian and researcher for the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame.
The driver of the famed No. 222 won a series-high three NDRA races in the 1978-’79 season on the Robert Smawley-founded national tour en route to capturing the title over fellow Hall of Famer and Georgian Buck Simmons. He won one other NDRA race in 1981 and stands tied for ninth on the NDRA victories list.
Archer, whose racing career spanned less than 20 years after his 1967 debut, was also runner-up in the 1979 World 100 at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio. He made three consecutive starts in Dirt Late Model racing’s most prestigious event, finishing 15th in 1980 and seventh in ’81.
A winner at dozens of Southeastern dirt tracks, some of his biggest victories came at East Alabama Motor Speedway in Phenix City (Mason-Dixon Challenge 100), Dixie Speedway in Woodstock, Ga. (Dixie 100), Senoia (Ga.) Speedway and Volunteer Speedway in Bulls Gap, Tenn. (Nationwide 100).
According to his biography at the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame site, Archer competed as a full-time racer using innovative chassis setups in mostly fielding his own equipment. He also piloted cars for car owners Billy Thomas, Fred Johnson, Darrell Monk, Denny Ross and fellow Hall of Famer Barry Wright.
Survivors include his wife, Sandra, son Mickey and two grandchildren. Visitation is 6-8 p.m. Thursday at Conner-Westbury Funeral Home in Griffin. The funeral is 11 a.m. Friday. Interment is at Oak Hill Mausoleum. Visit conner-westburyfuneralhome.com for complete obituary.