After 30 years of service Chatham, Louisiana’s speedway gets well deserved recognition

Sports

One of racing’s best kept secrets is in our backyard.

“The ground is rumbling, ” says Reggie Hobson, co-owner of Chatham Speedway. “You can just hear the thunder of the cars.”

“We’re out in the country, and people come out and say who’s going to come here, ” says Jerry Hobson, fellow co-owner of Chatham Speedway. “There’s a lot of country folks that like racing. So we take pride in that.

The word is out, about the speedway in Chatham, Louisiana. It’s so big, this week NBC Sports is coming to the iconic facility to feature it.

“That’s putting Louisiana, these country people in Louisiana on the map. And, they want to see that, ” Reggie Hobson continues.

“It makes me feel great, ” says Jerry Hobson in excitement. “NBC contacted us on Friday morning, by e-mail. And, since then they’ve talked to us, probably four times, and got lots of information.

The national exposure shouldn’t surprise anyone, especially with the big names who’ve graced this version of dirt road heaven since opening in 1987.

“This is about as hard to believe that as Tony Stewart [came here] and interviewed, ” Jerry continues.

“Who else in Louisiana gets to interview Tony Stewart, ” reflects Reggie. “My brother [Jerry] gave me that opportunity.”

“Many big name people have raced here. Kenny Schrader, Kenny Wallace. A bunch of folks, ” Jerry remembers.

For others, the bonds created while watching up to 200 cars race here on Saturday nights, outweigh any celebrity sightings.

“I’ve worked at this track for 20 years, ” says Linda Horn, director of Louisiana late model racing. “I started here in April 1999. I’ve made more friends here than I’ve made anywhere in my life. They’re more like family.

Despite Chatham Speedway receiving national acclaim, track owner Jerry Hobson still finds time to put life and his prized possession in perspective.

“I pull out over near an oak tree [at the track], and look and say ‘Wow! I’ve been blessed.’, ” says Jerry. “I’m actually living a dream, because I love racing. Been doing it since I was 17 years old. And, I’m 70 now.

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