In 1974 Ken Holt bought a 1963-1/2 Ford Galaxy for $ 150.00 and entered his first race at Tazewell Speedway. In a field of 37 cars Holt soon realized that he could drive the old car and by the end of the race he had made it all the way to third place. In the mid 70’s Holt became the driver people were talking about. Not only were they talking about his driving on the track they were talking about his toughness. Not afraid to mix it up when called out he inadvertently created his own legendary status by actions on the track and off. Holt won two track championships and several races in 1975-76 in the Bomber class without big money sponsorships and help. Holt as well as his kids; Norma, Allen, Mark and DeWayne all drove racecars that were prepared at their dad’s house. Norma is thought to be the very first woman to be brave enough to race at Tazewell Speedway and she drove well enough to finish near the top ten on several occasions. Mark and DeWayne had limited racing success but completely enjoyed their time at the track. Allen races currently and can be found in victory lane several times a year. Ken Holt never drove a lot of different tracks but he won at most that he attended. Holt talked about him and his sons helping pour the concrete in the bleachers that still exist at the track today. Thousands of wheelbarrows full of concrete were used to fill the forms that created the bleachers. Ken also grew tobacco beside the track and used some of the money earned to fund his racing habit. Oftentimes his truck would be used to haul tobacco one day and the racecar the next. Looking back on some of his most outstanding memories one of them involved starting in a race at the Taz in which 44 cars started the event. Another one involved a crash in which his car flew through the air and had to be loaded in the truck that night in two pieces. He also talked of one hot-lap crash that was probably his most curious in which he crashed into the steel poles on the inside rail breaking two of them then fixing the car at the track and winning the race. Ken was a fighter literally and figuratively as he never gave up as long as there was a chance of fixing the car and getting it back on the track. He states his worst moment at the Taz as being a race in that the win was given to Earl “Frog” Cox after Cox had pulled off the track to fix a flat. According to Holt, Cox pulled onto the track and finished the race as the winner even though he had lost a few laps. Holt had finished second. Holt’s best known battles involved Darrell Bailey. The two would battle on and off the track almost weekly but then borrow racing parts off of each other to do it all over on the next Saturday night. Holt built his racing engines except on one occasion that he spent $ 1,000 dollars seemingly against his wife Christine’s better judgment. Each time the engine would sputter or smoke she said her heart fluttered. Once Holt thought his new engine wasn’t running as well as it should so he tore into the thousand dollar power plant and made it better using a Pepsi can of all things. Ken Holt’s racing career involved many battles both on and off the track as well as many hours fabricating his cars including his favorite creation, his Cougar. Through all of his tough-guy moments one thing will never be taken away from him and that is his ability to drive a racecar. One season he finished every race and ironically, in 1979 his last year of racing he won the Sportsmanship award.