August 2, 1999
Nashville, TN -- Coaster Works proudly announced the opening of their very first roller coaster, "Little D" named in honor of Dale Earnhardt Jr. This Allen Hershel 'Lil Dipper' kiddie coaster opened at Race World, July 30, 1999.
This was another classic roller coaster that was bound for the junkyard when it was rescued from Seabreeze Amusement Park in Rochester, NY, by Coaster Works. After extensive restoration, the roller coaster was leased to Race World, who will operate and maintain the coaster.
According to George E. Laibe, president of Coaster Works, the company is positioned to continue to rescue and restore other classic roller coasters. In a press release he states that he hopes to continue to make these classics a viable part of our American roller coaster heritage.
"Little D" is the first roller coaster for the Race World facility. Construction has started on Race World's second roller coaster, a 70-foot tall double out and back with a figure 8 crossover in the middle, named "The Intimidator."
The Intimidator was named in honor of famed NASCAR racecar driver Dale Earnhardt Sr. Planned for an April 1, 2000, opening, the coaster will have two PTC trains with a capacity of approximately 1,000 riders per hour. This will be the first major roller coaster built by the Coaster Works, of Nashville, TN.
Race world is a 16-acre family entertainment center in Pigeon Forge, TN. The 5-year old facility features a NASCAR theme and offers go-carts, miniature golf, kiddie and major rides, an arcade, simulators, food outlet and the world's largest NASCAR retail souvenir and collectible outlet styled store. One of the three owners of the facility is famed NASCAR race team owner, Richard Childress who lists Dale Earnhardt Sr., one of his prominent drivers.