Storm batters South Georgia facility
A deadly storm that ripped through the south late Saturday night and into Sunday morning left heavy damage at South Georgia Motorsports Park in Cecil, Ga.
According the Georgia Emergency Management Agency on Sunday evening, at least 14 people were killed in severe weather that struck southern Georgia, including seven in Cook County, where SGMP is located.
“We did sustain some damage at SGMP from the tornado that came through around 4:30 this morning,” a post on the track’s Facebook page said. “There is heavy damage to the suites and some fencing.”
Video footage of the damage revealed the suites — which were shared by both the half-mile clay oval and the quarter-mile dragstrip — blown from their foundation and littering the dragstrip.
“We ask that you please pray for the families of those lost and injured by the storm this morning,” said the Facebook post by owner Ozzy Moya. “We can repair racetracks, our thoughts and prayers are with the ones that lost so much more.
“If anyone does want to help, please help by donating to Cook County families or the Red Cross that (is) helping the locals in Southern Georgia. Many families in Cook County and surrounding areas have lost everything.”
The damage left plans for the upcoming Winter Warmup uncertain. There was a scheduled practice at the dirt oval set for Jan. 27, with a $2,000-to-win Crate Late Model race planned for Jan. 28, along with racing for the entry-level C Class Late Model division.
The Dirt Track at South Georgia Motorsports Park is part of a two-track venue about 20 miles north of Valdosta that was purchased by Moya in 2015. Moya, a Florida businessman who owns two other dragstrips, covered what was then a half-mile asphalt oval with clay in early 2016.