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Lost Tracks of Georgia: Banks County Speedway


Just because a race track is included in our Lost Tracks doesn’t mean it can’t endure.

With the right amount of dedication and community support, even a dormant track can be turned into something special. In the tiny farm town of Baldwin in Northeast Georgia, that is exactly what has happened at Banks County Speedway.

The track’s story seemed to end more than 50 years ago, but its founding family has refused to let it go and has breathed new life into this historic facility.

Join Joe VanHoose and Brandon Reed as they uncover the story of Banks County Speedway and how this lost track of Georgia was found.

Enjoy the watch? Check out other episodes of the Lost Tracks of Georgia series, including Athens Speedway, a racetrack laid dormant for over 30 years. Learn more about the Classic City’s 3/8-mile raceway on Jimmy Daniel Road. Or if the written word is more your speed, Joe gives a glimpse at the end of asphalt racing in North Georgia.


About our Lost Tracks of Georgia series: Racing history fans Joe VanHoose and Brandon Reed have two things in common: their love of dirt track racing and affinity towards telling a good story. In this series, the two combine their loves and dive into the history and current state of several of the state’s famous dirt track races. With the help of cinematographer Scott Hartman, Lost Tracks looks to tell the stories that brought thousands of racing fans together in the Peach State.

Have an idea of a track to explore or a story to tell? Drop us a line and let us know which raceway we should explore in future editions of the series. We’ll also take submitted photos and videos of racetracks we’re highlighting. You never know, maybe we’ll share on social media or in one of our videos.

Merchandise for a mission


The West Concourse of the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando has the feel of the Vegas Strip when the PGA Merchandise Show comes to town.

The giant exhibitor hall is riddled with booths. There are the big boys, like Ping or TopGolf or TaylorMade, mixed in with family businesses, all looking for some publicity or sell products or make connections. 

Some booths are grandiose, with televisions, lights, speakers and technology. Others have signs and photos or samples and celebrities.

Carter Bonas is among the exhibitors, standing under a white canopy. The 11-year-old business owner’s booth sits in the middle of the apparel section at the Show, and it’s one of several exhibitors that aren’t just there to make money, but also to make a difference.

Breaking into the industry


In 1954, the Professional Golf Association held its first-ever PGA Merchandise Show in a parking lot in Dunedin, Florida, with only a handful of participants. Today, more than 40,000 individuals crowd the West Concourse of the Orange County Convention Center each January in hopes to find new business, cover the newest trends or sell the newest golf merchandise on the market.

Kirk Fallgatter is one of them. 

For one week at the end of January, he set up shop at Booth 5557, representing Scales Gear as a sales associate. Scales Gear is one of the dozens of first time exhibitors at the show in 2023. Though some have come from across the world, Scales was fortunate enough to just have a two-hour drive up FL-91 to showcase their apparel.

Family Recipe: In appreciation of cookbooks


Family recipe

My favorite books are scattered about my house.

I’m prone to re-reading, so they’re kept within a not-so-metaphorical arm’s length of my grasp.

When winter rolls around and the wind’s cold breath chills our house in a way that makes our heater work extra hard, I reach for the worn copy of Ethan Frome in my bedside table. I first read it in high school, initially thinking I’d hate this literary assignment from Mr. Barnwell.

I devoured it in less than two days.

The same goes for Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot, minus the aforementioned initial apprehension. It’s spooky and creepy and weird and, yes, distinctly Maine in some places, and I just adore it. If I need a bit of a fright as we near Halloween, I’ll just flip through its pages until we get to Danny Glick hovering outside the second-story window, tapping at the glass, asking to be let in the house.

Duuuval: Hope is a funny thing

Photo by Kam Nedd/Courtesy of the Jacksonville Jaguars

Duuuval — This is how it’s supposed to be. 

The Jacksonville Jaguars are back in the NFL postseason. They host the Los Angeles Chargers in the wildcard round of the playoffs Saturday night, the team’s second primetime game in as many weeks. 

It’s a return to the promised land after such a promising season for the big cats in 2017. That team won the AFC South and made it all the way to the AFC Championship game, falling to Tom Brady’s New England Patriots. 

There proved to be no sustainable momentum. The Jags finished last in the AFC South in 2018 after going 5-11. Then they finished last again in 2019, won exactly one game in 2020, hired and fired Urban Meyer in 2021. The Urban Meyer experience, completely predictable, further cratered a team that had one winning season over a 15-year stretch. 

The legend of Chick Nowling, Nevada prep basketball and loose records


Charles “Chick” Nowling enrolled as a sophomore at Tonopah High School in the fall of 1931. The new kid in Tonopah, Nevada was probably nervous, but he’d come to town to play prep basketball for coach Henry Couts, who just happened to be Chick’s uncle and acting guardian. 

An easy-going, handsome kid, Chick quickly fell in with the other students – having access to an automobile certainly didn’t hurt his prospects on the social scene. On the prep basketball court, Chick really excelled. Skillful with the ball and a natural leader on the floor, Chick’s gifts endeared him to his teammates, his school and his newfound state. 

Living with Couts, Chick was thriving. 

But here’s the first thing you need to know about Chick: he and Henry Couts were not related.

Swimming against the current

Photo courtesy of Augusta University

Division I. The tip top of collegiate athletics. The highest point of the NCAA. With the largest conferences, highest levels of competition and biggest television deals, it’s where most schools and universities — including Augusta University — want to be.

One would think.

Currently, around a dozen colleges across the country are in the process of transitioning their programs to become a Division I school, but 30 years ago Augusta University did the opposite –  it moved down.

In the 1960s and ‘70s, the Jaguars were members in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) before moving to the NCAA’s Division II. Then, in 1981, Augusta joined the Division I ranks as a founding member of the Big South Conference. After completing the transition, the Jaguars stayed in the conference from 1986 through 1991. Then Augusta made another move by going back to Division II.

Good Reading: ‘Tis the season for books


There’s no mistaking that we love the good reading at Beyond The Trestle, and in the spirit of the holidays we’re doing something a bit different. 

We’ve polled our team of writers, members of Trestle Collective and solicited some thoughts from our friend, Annie Jones, who owns the popular, independent bookstore, The Bookshelf, to collect a variety of book recommendations to guide you this holiday season.

We’re always grateful for your reading of BTT – and don’t forget that you can support us via Patreon as well as sign up for our free, monthly newsletter – so take a little bit of time to look through our picks below and feel free to check out some of the works our team has really enjoyed.


Florida basketball: The ascension of Patric Young


Even in a wheelchair, former Florida basketball star Patric Young is a hulking presence. 

His ripped torso fronts a 250-pound, 6-foot-9-inch frame that once dominated Southeastern Conference basketball opponents as a two-time All-SEC forward and Defensive Player of the Year at the University of Florida before signing with the New Orleans Pelicans and eventually competing professionally in Europe. 

It is a chilly mid-November day in 2022, and he is about to give his first motivational speech at Johnson & Johnson Vision Care Corporate Headquarters in Jacksonville, Florida. It’s not the speech he ever saw himself giving even a year ago.  

A car accident in July in Nebraska damaged Young’s T-7 and T-8 vertebrae, which resulted in losing the use of his lower body. The mishap occurred a week before he was to be married. 

‘We should be in a better place’


Georgia basketball

There have been highs, there have been lows. 

There were Sweet Sixteens and six-win seasons.

There have been first-round draft picks and postseason tournament bans. 

There has been Dominique Wilkins gliding through the air and Tony Cole showing off an illegally acquired TV on ESPN.

Welcome to the world of Georgia men’s basketball.

In its 117 seasons of play, Georgia is 1459-1367, good enough for a .516 win percentage all-time. That’s middle of the road by percentage, but it’s second-to-last in the Southeastern Conference (Ole Miss boasts a .499).

Speaking of Ole Miss, the Rebels are the only school in the SEC that the Bulldogs have beaten more times than they’ve lost. Every other SEC school has owned the Dawgs in their respective series.

One thing’s for sure: consistency from the University of Georgia basketball program has been hard to come by.