AAA  Apr. 8, 2017 11:59 PM ET
Tazewell Speedway PR legend: Art Bean
Allen Earl, Claiborne County Progress, Tazewell, Tenn. (TNS)
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With a new season upon Tazewell Speedway there is no better time to give due credit to one of their public relations and media legends. Art Bean was a fixture at the Tazewell Speedway for many years as a driver, public relations official, photographer and videographer. He was essential in helping the dirt racing motor sport advance around the East Tennessee area as his articles and announcements promoted everything from regular weekly races to Have A Tampa, National Series events. Still to this day you can see his old videotaped races on YouTube.

According to family, Art raced asphalt in the Automobile Racing Club of America (A.R.C.A.) series then took to the dirt for several years in a late model Camaro #79 that many fans will argue to this day that those machines were the best looking style of race cars ever to hit the dirt tracks. His racing career took place between the years of early 1970’s to late 1980’s. His most memorable race was during a National Dirt Racing Association (N.D.R.A.) event at Tazewell Speedway where he won a heat race competing against the best of the best at that time.

His love of racing kept him around the track and after he stopped racing, he stepped up to help promote the Taz especially during the years that John and Lori Thompson owned and ran the track. At the same time, he also enjoyed helping his sons race in karts and in the dirt cars.

He passed the love of racing to his kids and never looked happier than when his son Richie rolled his car into victory lane.

As a writer, Art described the races where everyone could understand; from fans to the non-race fan. He described the excitement of a last lap pass with accuracy and to the point. Art often waited around for a technical inspection to be over so he could complete his required weekly media tasks. Many nights he was up past 2 a.m. and often much later just to get the final results and photos ready for the media outlets.

Art passed away a few years ago but he will forever be remembered at Tazewell Speedway.

Reach Allen Earl at 423-254-5588 or on Twitter @pitchadude.

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©2017 the Claiborne County Progress (Tazewell, Tenn.)

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