Timothy Peters (12) and Tommy Lemons Jr. (27) lead the field into Turn 1 during the opening lap of the 2019 Myrtle Beach 400, which turned out to be the final running of the prestigious Late Model race. (Photo: RACE22.com)

A lengthy chapter in the history of East Coast short track racing will close on Saturday evening when Myrtle Beach Speedway holds its last event before being sold for redevelopment.

Opening in 1958 as a dirt track called Rambi Raceway, Myrtle Beach hosted Cup Series events until 1965, where drivers such as Ned Jarrett, Buck Baker, Joe Weatherly and David Pearson all visited victory lane.

After the track was paved in 1974, it hosted numerous other divisions that included the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Slim Jim All Pro Series, Goody’s Dash Series and the USAR Hooters Pro Cup, while also serving as the site of the prestigious Myrtle Beach 400 from 1993 until 2019.

With Saturday being the final race of Myrtle Beach’s proud history, the RACE22.com staff decided to take a look at some of our favorite memories from all of the races we have covered there since the website’s inception, along with those we attended merely as fans.

Andy Marquis

My favorite Myrtle Beach Speedway memory came in 2013 when Haley Moody scored her first Limited Late Model win in a SELLM Challenger race – leading wire-to-wire. Her father, Jerry, had been diagnosed with cancer and was on hand to watch her win.

After the race, Haley went to victory lane for a very emotional celebration when Jerry was brought down with her. She shared a hug with her father in victory lane, knowing it would be one of their last father-daughter hugs.

Less than 48 hours after Haley’s triumphant moment, Jerry passed away.

“I think that’s when he left us, after she won,” Becky Moody, Haley’s mom, said in a biography piece on Race22 Reports. “He never spoke another word. It was just too emotional for me. It was just; I don’t even remember some things because it was surreal.”

It’s a moment that will live with Haley forever as well.

“It was, everybody got really quiet,” Haley remembered. “I just gave him the trophy and I was like, well we did it, and he was really happy and that was the last race he’d see so it was a good win for sure.”

Remembering Jerry Moody

Brandon White 

The first NASCAR race I ever saw was the 1999 Myrtle Beach 250 for the NASCAR Busch Series, in which Jeff Green claimed his third career victory after Jason Keller cut a tire with only three laps remaining.

My memories of that evening have unfortunately faded away with time, but I consider myself fortunate that I was able to make many more as a member of the RACE22.com staff, with the 2019 Icebreaker being the one that sticks out the most.

The race featured a thrilling finish that saw Ty Gibbs work his way past Corey Heim and Will Burns in the closing stages to score a victory in his first race with Nelson Motorsports in front of his grandfather Joe Gibbs.

Ty’s win came only a month after J.D. Gibbs, who played an instrumental role in the development of Joe Gibbs Racing, tragically passed away, and to see the emotion in victory lane and how proud Joe was of Ty’s accomplishment will always stick with me.

Doc Love

My earliest memory of Myrtle Beach Speedway was from family beach trips in the early 70’s driving around on Saturday seeing all the racecars that resemble wooden door stop wedges on open trailers, then later in the evening driving up HWY 501 and seeing the dirt flying all around.

Fast-forward to the mid-90’s when I’m trying to transition from announcing R/C Races  to big car Races and I was fortunate enough to meet Dave Seay. In Nov. 1996, I was asked to join Dave as he took the radio show ‘This Week in Racing’ on the road to the Myrtle Beach where we hosted a pre-race show before the first big LMSC Event, which Jay Fogleman won. We did that from 1996-98, and those are some great memories with great drivers and fantastic races.

Then came alone Langley and RACE22.com. Getting to see my buddy Frank Deiny Jr dominate during those years was very special, but when track owner Billy Hardee gave Langley and I a chance to do our own broadcast of the Myrtle Beach 400 in 2009 when Lucas Ransone won it with a dramatic last lap pass over Deiny, that was a fantastic memory.

One memory that is heavy on my mind and heart is my fallen friend, Robert “Bobi” Summers who battled hard for his life against cancer until the very end on Aug. 29, 2014. Bobi was a short track racing fanatic as I was, as he hosted a local racing radio show and was a great track announcer with Myrtle Beach for 16 years. I think of him often. Godspeed my friend.

Corey Latham

I have too many Myrtle Beach memories to list. It started back in the day with the old Busch Series races with the stands packed. I don’t remember much of those because I was young, but come to think of it, I didn’t remember much when I got old.

I was late in the game catching races there as an adult, but I remember watching Benny Gordon and Shane Huffman wear them out in Hooters Pro Cup in 2005. Then started my Late Model days, and Frank Deiny winning 4 of those 400’s is still one of the most impressive feats in racing. The year with him and Jamey Caudill fighting for the win with Caudill eventually taking the checkered was epic.

The year that Lucas Ransone shocked everyone still sticks out, and Garrett Campbell getting into Ben Rhodes for the win will always be in my mind. But the best memories of the Myrtle Beach Speedway? The ones I can never tell, the best times of my life have been had on race weekends there and some of the stupidest things I’ve ever done to boot.

In the end, there will never be another place like Myrtle Beach. It really has set in how much of a important place in our lives will be no more.