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Albany Motor Speedway to honor fallen driver Walls before kicking off 1st race

Local driver and Albany native Keith Walls lost his battle with cancer earlier this year, and his memory will be honored at Albany Motor Speedway before this year’s first race Saturday, which will be called the “Keith Walls Memorial Race.” (Brittany Stewart/Special to The Herald)

Local driver and Albany native Keith Walls lost his battle with cancer earlier this year, and his memory will be honored at Albany Motor Speedway before this year’s first race Saturday, which will be called the “Keith Walls Memorial Race.” (Brittany Stewart/Special to The Herald)

ALBANY – Albany Motor Speedway will honor one of its long-time drivers Saturday before the track’s 2012 season opener. The Keith Walls Memorial Race will open this year’s dirt track action in memory of a standout driver and four-time AMS champion who was one of the main local figures at the track for years. Walls, an Albany native, passed away Jan. 14 at the age of 47 after battling cancer, but his presence on the track will be remembered for years to come, AMS Race Director Ben Sumner said.

Looking Ahead

WHO: Local race car drivers. WHAT: Keith Walls Memorial Race. Where: Albany Motor Speedway. When: Saturday — Gates open at 4 p.m.; Practice at 7 p.m.; Racing begins at at 7:30 p.m. (weather permitting) Cost: $12 stands; $30 pits; Children 10-and-younger free.

More info: www.albanymotorsp... or (229) 888-4088.

“This race is just to honor his memory and his love for motorsports at AMS over the years,” Sumner said.

Racing will begin at 7:30 p.m. with drivers from Georgia, Florida and Alabama registered to run. AMS took up a collection last season for Walls during his illness and named the season-opening race for the man who turned many a lap on the dirt oval off Highway 19.

His family will be in attendance and a special pre-race event will honor the Walls family.

“His son, Dustin, will lead the field around in a parade lap before the mini-stock feature,” Sumner said.

The 2012 AMS race classes will include a new crate late model division, along with limited sportsman, pure stock, enduro and mini-stock classes. Regular racing continues March 17 and March 31 and a return of the Nesmith Dirt Late Model Series is in store for late April with a huge field of drivers from all over the southeast invading Albany.

AMS will also feature the return of the Sprint cars, more late model touring series racing, special events for local divisions, added kids activities and a “Driver of the Month” award that will be voted on by fans this year.

Regular admission Saturday is $12 and children 10-and-younger get in free. For more information, including division standings, race scheduling and race results, visit www.albanymotorspeedway.net online.

The 2012 AMS race classes will include a new crate late model division, along with limited sportsman, pure stock, enduro and mini-stock classes. Regular racing continues March 17 and March 31 and a return of the Nesmith Dirt Late Model Series is in store for late April with a huge field of drivers from all over the southeast invading Albany.

AMS will also feature the return of the Sprint cars, more late model touring series racing, special events for local divisions, added kids activities and a “Driver of the Month” award that will be voted on by fans this year.

Regular admission Saturday is $12 and children 10-and-younger get in free. For more information, including division standings, race scheduling and race results, visit www.albanymotorspeedway.net online.