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Bartlett's Davis makes NHRA Hall

By Larry Rea

In 1974, Preston Davis walked away from professional drag racing after a fiery accident at Blaney, S.C.

"When I quit I quit totally," Davis said. "I never watched it on TV. I couldn't. It would eat at my insides. I loved it so much but I had to put my family first."

Davis quit at the top of his game, having teamed with Raymond Godman to make their Tennessee Boll Weevil a famous name in the National Hot Rod Association. From 1968-73, Davis won four points championships and was runnerup another year.

On Saturday night at Jacksonville, Fla., Davis, 59, will be inducted into the NHRA Southeast Division Hall of Fame. He'll become the 14th person inducted into the Hall of Fame's Pro Driver Category.

"It's the ultimate compliment that the Southeast Division can bestow on somebody," said Bill Holt, NHRA Southeast Division Director and a member of the Hall of Fame's six-person selection committee.

Davis, who lives in Bartlett, was informed of his selection on Christmas Eve by drag racing legend Don Garlits, who is also on the selection committee.

"I knew his voice right off," Davis said. "He said, 'This is the Big Daddy and I've got a Christmas present for you. You're going into the Hall of Fame' I was speechless."

Davis in recent years has become one of the Mid South's top professional bass fishermen with three berths in the prestigious Red Man All-American (1994-96-98).

"I'm just as competitive fishing as I was drag racing," Davis said. "I had a good ride in drag racing but being in the Hall of Fame tops it all. I'm honored."

Davis, who is in the constructions business, will have  his name put on a trophy that will be placed in the Don Garlits Museum in Ocala, Fla.



The preceding article is Copyright The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, TN.  

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