Fast track: Movie filming at Dixie Speedway

Woodstock and Dixie Speedway are about to hit the big screen after being selected as the film site for an upcoming movie.

“Champion” is a faith-based movie that tells the story of two dirt-track racers who travel a rocky road to overcome turmoil and tragedy. Producer David Cook said the movie is about forgiveness.

The lead character, Sean Weathers, had an unstoppable career as a dirt track racer, but when a rivalry with another racer, Jack Reed, escalates, Weathers’ life is sent into a tailspin, Cook said.

Cook said the movie takes viewers on a ride as the two racers reconcile and find forgiveness, thus forming an unexpected bond.

“Working through a painful journey of healing together, they each learn about second chances and the true freedom only forgiveness can offer,” the movie’s website states.

Because the movie is about champion racers, it was only fitting to film scenes at Dixie Speedway, which, coincidentally, displays the words “Home of the Champions” on its grandstand.

Film production crews will spend seven of its more than 20 shoot days at the iconic track.

“We have shot at Dixie Speedway, in downtown Woodstock and at First Baptist Woodstock,” Cook said.

Woodstock fire and police departments also pitched in last week to provide fake rain and a police car. Brittany Duncan, spokeswoman for Woodstock Police, said an officer had an on-camera scene while driving a marked car.

“We’re glad that they are filming in our community,” said Woodstock City Manager Jeff Moon. “The movie industry has become a big part of the Georgia economy, and we’re glad to see more of it taking place in Cherokee County now. Especially given the local connections with Champion, we’re excited about seeing the finished product.”

The film’s screenwriter, Missy Reedy, is from Woodstock.

Cook said the production team was very grateful for the city of Woodstock, as well as the more than 300 volunteers and sponsors who have assisted in the shoot.

“Champion” joins a long list of movies filmed in Cherokee County this year. Earlier this summer, Ball Ground was transformed into an Arkansas town for the upcoming thriller, “Mena,” starring Tom Cruise. The city of Canton also welcomed big-named actors this summer, including Michael Keaton, who was filming “The Founder.”

Those movies were brought to Cherokee through the Cherokee Office of Economic Development’s Camera Ready program.

“COED’s goal in this is to make Cherokee an attractive option for movie and television production,” said COED President Misti Martin. “We do this by being knowledgeable in the needs of the film directors, scouts and crews and by knowing the diverse attributes our county has to offer.”

Cook said “Champion” should wrap up filming by the end of next week. He said the movie could possibly be released by this time next year.

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