by Langley Austin / Race22.com
Russell Harrison Hackett, age 76, of Randleman died Friday, February 23, 2018, at Randolph Hospice House in Asheboro.
Born January 13, 1942, and grew up as a tobacco and dairy farmer. At the age of 16, he began working in restaurants which eventually led to him owning his own. Dixie Dew Drive-In and Robinhood Restaurant.
He began going to Caraway Speedway in Sophia, NC as a spectator then became a championship winning car owner. The owners of Caraway Speedway, Thomas Bros. Country Ham had bought the track as a test facility for NASCAR Legend Sam Ard’s NASCAR Sportsman car, coaxed the young Hackett into promoting the track in 1977. When the Thomas Brothers left the sport in 1989 they sold the track to Hackett.
Hackett’s time as the promoter of Caraway Speedway were the best years the facility has ever seen. Legendary drivers such as Dale Earnhardt, Sr., Jimmy Hensley, Dennis Setzer, Bobby Labonte, Sam Ard and Mike Skinner all came through the track while Hackett was promoting events.
During the period while Hackett was the longest running promoter and owner of Caraway Speedway, he also owned Tri-County Motor Speedway in Hudson, NC buying the track in 1993 and selling it in 1998.
Hackett was the recipient of the Promoter of the Year award from Charlotte Motor Speedway on two different occasions. The first came in 1989, the first year with the track under his ownership and again in 1998. He also served on the NASCAR Appeal Board for over 20 years.
Hackett retired from the restaurant business in 2002 and following the conclusion of the 2010 season, he retired as the promoter of Caraway Speedway.
He is survived by daughter, Dee Dee Hackett-Kern; son, Darren Hackett and grandchildren, Justin Smith, Preston Hackett and Victoria Hackett; sister, Sylvia Cook.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Valastra Hackett; parents, Harlan and Johnsie Hackett; brother, Terry Hackett.