As we all deal with the COVID-19 virus and the changes in our everyday lives, we take time to look back at our sport of short track racing in our area….hopefully to take a just a bit of a break from the issues of the day.

Photographer Mike Damic has had a 35-year career of venturing to short tracks across the Midwest.  Mike will be providing photos to us and we will share them with you.

Where else to start but with the legend-Joy Fair.  The Pontiac, MI native began his racing career in 1949 and won over 700 races in 12 states and Canada.  Fair is the all-time win leader in the Late Model division at both Flat Rock (159) and Toledo (97), capturing 10 track championships at Flat Rock, 7 at Toledo and 7 at Mt. Clemens during his outstanding career. 

Fair captured 6 consecutive titles at Toledo from 1967-1972, and was on his way to a 7th crown until he was injured in a crash in 1973.  Joy and car owners Bob Gillelan and Russ Wainscott put Joe Ruttman in the car for the remainder of the season, winning many season-ending events with Ruttman at the wheel.  Fair came back in 1974 to win the Toledo title once again.

While he was one of the toughest competitors on the track, Joy was a good friend to his fellow drivers throughout his entire career.  Fair’s number 1 was officially retired from ARCA Late Model Racing in 1999 during a ceremony at Toledo’s Glass City 200 race, which was won by Fair in its first year-1968.

Fair was inducted into the Michigan Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1986.  Joy passed away in 2011 at the age of 81.

Fair is pictured here discussing race strategy at the Delaware, Ontario Speedway Park for the fall race, the McKerlie-Millen 200, in 1986.  Mt. Clemens, MI driver Tracy Leslie won the event.

Randy B.

I grew up at Toledo Speedway in early 1970's The ARCA series. What a great experience watching Joy Fair, John Anderson, Joe Ruttman, Ed Hage, Danny Byrd, Harold Cook and many more battling it out every Sunday evening in the Australian Pursuit race.

R.I.P. Joy Fair


mr s.

many thanks

mr s.

many thnaks

Frankie a.

Nice post.

Monika J.

Thanks a lot for sharing this. 

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