J. P. Rotton Jr

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J. P. Rotton Jr (born c. 1918 in Center Point; died August 17, 2009 in Trussville) was a produce wholesaler and auto racing promoter.

Rotton grew up on a farm and entered the wholesale produce business as a young man. After Army service in World War II, he partnered with Shine Franklin to build the Iron Bowl Speedway in Bogg's Hollow. Since the track lacked a grandstand, he branched off into year-round auto races at the Fairgrounds Raceway. He turned over 20 percent of the gate and all concession proceeds to the fairgrounds management. The popular Fairgrounds races paid higher purses than the tracks in Miami, which lured Bobby and Donnie Allison and Red Farmer to move to Hueytown, forming NASCAR's legendary Alabama Gang.

Rotton owned several cars that were used in the races, including the "Golden Tornado", a 1953 Studebaker Starlight coupe painted with gold dust.

Rotton also organized events in Montgomery, Mobile and Atlanta. He developed the Checkered Flag Club's garage and supper club for the Birmingham Racing Association. He later turned over the Fairgrounds contract to Tom Gloor and built the asphalt-paved Dixie Speedway.

Rotton died in 2009 after a long illness.

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