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(Trailer) "The Randy Bethea Story"

Staff Report • May 3, 2013 at 11:46 AM

Throughout the 1970s Tennessee racer Randy Bethea was a regular competitor in NASCAR's second tier series now known as the Nationwide Series. He made history in 1973 becoming the first African American racer to win a pole in an upper division NASCAR race when he knocked Darrell Waltrip off the pole in the Late Model Sportman (Nationwide Series) Southern 400 at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway.?In 1975 he made history again, starting the World 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway and becoming one of only seven African Americans to compete at NASCAR's highest level, now known as the Sprint Cup Series. But, Bethea's dream of NASCAR success was unfulfilled for reasons he attributes to color. That color was green, and like the majority of up-and-coming drivers of that era Bethea didn't have enough green in his wallet to compete at his full potential.?Although Bethea did experience some racism during his driving career, he is quick to state he was 'Not a Black Racer', he was a racer who happened to be black. Currently employed as a high school automotive instructor in Newport, Tenn., Bethea still remains active in local racing and among the most popular drivers in Tennessee.?"Just Another Racer: The Randy Bethea Story" tells the story of Bethea's racing life, from sweeping the floors in legendary engine builder Banjo Matthews' shop, to his venture into Formula Super-V racing, which he attributes as the main reason he failed to maintain long term success in NASCAR. The 60 minute documentary was filmed and edited by Kingsport Times-News reporter Jeff Bobo and includes interviews with many of Bethea's NASCAR racing contemporaries including retired racers Paul Lewis, John A. Utsman, active Nationwide Series driver Brad Teague, and engine builder Stanley Allison.

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