John Allan Potts, 78


INDIANAPOLIS – John Allan Potts, a veteran motorsports journalist, official and former contributor to National Speed Sport News, died March 16 in Indianapolis. He was 78 years old.

Potts was born Sept. 24, 1938 in Louisville, Ky., to John A. and Mary Will Potts (Graham). A 1956 graduate of Manual Dupont High School in Louisville, Potts served as a Linguist in the United States Air Force from 1956-1960. Upon being Honorably Discharged from the Air Force, he embarked on career in print media and motorsports communications that lasted more than 50 years.

In the early 1970s, he was Editor of the County Press in Salem, Ind., before serving as Editor in Chief of the Scott County Journal & Chronicle in Scottsburg, Ind., for 15 years. From 1985-2005 he was News Director at Indianapolis Raceway Park (Now Lucas Oil Raceway).

Following that, he served as Public Relations Director for London (Ky.) Speedway and Corbin (Ky.) Speedway. Additionally, he was heavily involved with the creation of Fairgrounds Motor Speedway in Louisville, serving as chief starter for a number of years and remained as a track official until the track closed in 1980.

He flagged thousands of races in his lifetime for the American Speed Ass’n, Sports Car Club of America, Auto Racing Club of America, American Motorcycle Ass’n, United Midget Racing Ass’n and NASCAR all over the United States.  He was the author of “Driven to the Past” (2000), which included a foreword written by Darrell Waltrip. In 2012 he was inducted into the Kentucky Motorsports Hall of Fame.

In addition to his wife, Joyce E. Potts (Gater), he is survived by his brother, Robert W. Potts (Beverly) of Louisville; a son, Matthew Potts (Becky); one daughter, Maria Potts; 3 grandchildren Toni Potts, Miranda Baker and Elliott Sabella; and one great-grandchild Guinevere Baker, all of Indianapolis.

A Memorial Gathering will take place on Wednesday, March 22 from 5-8 p.m. at Conkle Funeral Home in Speedway, Ind.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Victory Junction Gang Camp at 4500 Adam’s Way, Randleman NC 27317 or by visiting

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