After being idle for 4 years, the Smoky Mountain Speedway Hall of Fame has resumed and named its members for the 2014 class. Induction ceremony for the new members will take place at the speedway on September 20.
The newest members inducted into the SMS HOF are Scott Sexton, Billy Palmer, Dewey Floyd, Jim Hunter, and Bobby Denton.
Sexton was a force in a dirt late model racing in East Tennessee from the mid 80’s until he had to step away from driving a few years ago due to health issues. Sexton earned the nickname “Superman” for his daring moves on the racetrack. Sexton passed away in early 2013.
Billy Palmer has seen success in both dirt late models and open wheel modifieds. Palmer was a regular fixture in Smoky Mountain Speedway’s victory lane from the mid 80’s to the early 90’s. Palmer also garnered a number of wins at Atomic Speedway in the open wheel modified division.
Dewey Floyd won a number of features and track championships in the modified street division at SMS. Floyd was a regular at SMS, then moved to the late model division when the modified street division was phased out. He has a number of late model wins to his credit as well.
A new category for the Hall of Fame is the induction of one member from the asphalt era of the speedway. The category is for area racers that saw success at SMS during its asphalt days in the late 60’s until the late 70’s. This year’s asphalt era inductee is Jim Hunter. Hunter was teammates with Joe Neubert where the pair won numerous races at SMS. Hunter won the pole for a NASCAR Grand National race in 1967 and posted two top 5 finishes in NASCAR action at SMS. Hunter passed away in 2010.
The contributor category inductee is Bobby Denton. Many know Denton as the public address announcer for the Tennessee Volunteers at Neyland Stadium. But Denton was the PA announcer at Maryville Dragstrip before becoming the PA announcer at Smoky Mountain Speedway. Denton later became the announcer at Talladega Super Speedway when former SMS general manager Don Naman hired him in the early 70’s. Denton passed away earlier this year.
The hall of fame induction ceremony takes place on Saturday, September 20 at Smoky Mountain Speedway during intermission for the Southern All-Stars program.