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Southside Allows Criminal Behavior, In Some CasesLike any other race track, Southside Speedway has always had it share of drama, including fights, verbal abuse, etc. Most all incidents are handled at the track level, not always in the same manner though.
This past summer, while trying to do my job as track photographer, I asked Jennifer Allen to 'get out of the way' , as she repeatedly got in the way in victory lane.
Track General Manager Jennifer Mullis was fully aware of what Allen had been doing for years, but asked me to ignore it and 'pray' about it.
Mullis and her mother, track Co-Owner Sue Clements, have both admitted they didn't fully keep their agreement with the track photographer by allowing others to infringe on the rights they had agreed to give the track photographer.
After getting yelled at, Allen went to complain to her husband, Bud, who came over to me, with Daniel Thomas and Jennifer Allen. With a track official standing right beside me, Bud Allen verbally threatened me with physical harm for 'yelling' at his wife. I immediately reported this crime to GM Mullis, who made excuses for Bud Allen, saying her husband would probably do the same thing. When I told Mullis I was going to get an arrest warrant for Bud Allen, she warned me to be careful, because others may make something up and have me arrested.
By ignoring this type of behavior at the track, it shows the track will allow criminal behavior by certain individuals. It could also give the wrong signal to others that this type of behavior is ok at Southside Speedway. Favoritism is also not new to this track. I have seen it in officiating also.
The speedway's 'official' facebook page has also caused some controversy. Users are allowed to post anything they want on the page, until someone (more than likely Erika Gay), has a chance to take it down if they don't like it. The track will allow you to talk bad about the track or any individual. Erika Gay, in charge of marketing for the speedway, told me the track did not pay her enough to constantly monitor its facebook page. Facebook has a mechanism to screen posts before the general public can see it, the track has decided not to implement that feature.
One track official told me that a certain amount of controversy is good publicity for the track, even if it is negative.
Editor's Opinion: I would think that members of Bethia United Methodist Church would not allow this type of behavior at a facility they own and operate.
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Howard James Taylor, Jr., a longtime official at Southside Speedway, passed away Tuesday, September 15. He was 74 years old.
Isn't it interesting that the track management didn't even bother to acknowledge the passing of a longtime track official. Oh, thats right, no financial gain here, why would they mention it?
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The 'official' Southside Speedway facebook pages stated their website was 'hijacked'. Not true. In a email to the track GM, I stated there could be a workable solution for a smooth transition of the website. There was no response.
Since 2004, during the off-season and the 5 months of racing season, I have paid for every aspect of this website, which includes the fees to host the files on a web server, the fees for the domain name, along with a lot of my own money to pay programmers for applications that tally the points, produce drivers pages, etc.
It now appears that instead of paying for ANY of this, the track management has decided to simply start a different website, and make claims that 'their' website was hijacked. I sure hope the new person gets their money upfront.
Recently I told the general manager of the track that I was going to post the truth on the website about certain things, she responded with, "They don't need to know the truth."
I doubt that Mr. J. M. Wilkinson would be proud of this track and the way it is being run today.
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