Pocono Raceway founder Mattioli nominated for NASCAR award – Citizens Voice


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Photo: Carolyn Kaster/AP, License: N/A, Created: 2012:01:26 15:22:09

ASSOCIATED PRESS FILE Pocono Raceway founder Dr. Joseph Mattioli opened the Long Pond track in 1968.


Pocono Raceway co-founder, the late Dr. Joseph “Doc” Mattioli is one of five nominees for the NASCAR Hall of Fame’s Class of 2020 Landmark Award.


Established in 2015, the Landmark Award is presented to individuals who have made significant and outstanding contributions to the growth of NASCAR.


Mattioli bought an old spinach farm in Long Pond in 1960, built a race track that opened in 1968 and turned it into one of the premier facilities in the country.


The 2.5-mile triangular-shaped track has hosted all forms of racing. The NASCAR Cup Series started racing at Pocono in 1974 and added a second date to its schedule in 1982.


Smart, stubborn and innovative, Mattioli wasn’t afraid to take risks and try different things with the track. He built the world’s largest toilet facility behind Pocono’s main grandstand and called it the “Long John.” In 2010, he oversaw construction of a solar energy project that makes Pocono the world’s largest solar-powered sports facility.


In 2011, Mattioli retired and turned the day-to-day operations of the track over to his grandchildren. He died in January 2012 at the age of 86.


Other nominees for the Landmark Award include Edsel Ford II, a member of the board of directors for the Ford Motor Company and great-grandson of Henry Ford; Alvin Hawkins, NASCAR’s first flagman who helped establish NASCAR racing with Bill France Sr.; Mike Helton, former NASCAR president and current member of the NASCAR Board of Directors; and Ralph Seagraves, executive with the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company who helped form the partnership between Winston and NASCAR.


Winner of the Landmark Award will be announced May 22.


Contact the writer:


swalsh@timesshamrock.com


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