Joy Fair, Modified Racing, and the Beginning of a Legend | Joy Fair Memorial 100 Preview

Joy Fair, Modified Racing, and the Beginning of a Legend | Joy Fair Memorial 100 Preview

May 26, 2023 -- This Saturday May 27th at Flat Rock Speedway, the Moran Chevrolet Outlaw Super Late Models will compete in the annual DTS Drive Train Specialists Joy Fair Memorial 100. This year will be a unique double-header, as additional is the touring series Midwest Modified Tour in their Motor City 50 event, a return of modified racing at Flat Rock for the first time in a long time! Joy Fair has a connection to modified racing, just one chapter of his storied history of success.

The first race car Joy and Floyd Fair ever built, was a modified.

Joy Fair, who originally wanted to become a school teacher, caught the racing bug after returning home after two semesters at Western Michigan University, and shortly after opening up a service station in Pontiac with his brother.

The Fair brothers built a modified (“hardtop”) race car and took it to Parkington Pastures, a now-defunct track in Sterling Heights which was nestled off of 15 Mile Road in an old cow pasture, now approximately the site of a church and a residential neighborhood. This dirt field of a race track would be the site of Joy Fair’s first racing experience, as well as his first win.

Joy Fair formed a partnership with Russell Wainscott in the early 1950’s and would shortly go racing six-to-seven nights a week, grinding to propel his career further at tracks like now-defunct Motor City Speedway, as well as other tracks throughout the Midwest and Canada.

Fair and Wainscott would get the urge to go racing nationally, and their track record of success would take them all the way to the original Daytona Beach course as well as Chicago’s Soldier Field in 1956, where Fair would compete in the NASCAR Grand National and Sportsman divisions, capturing a top ten finish in what is now the NASCAR Cup Series! The financial side of racing would quickly rear its head, however, and Fair found himself most at home when racing in Michigan, the state he would call home for the rest of

his career.

After their national excursion, Fair would return to modified racing. Fair would compete in the #719 supermodified in the late 1950’s into the early 1960’s, dominating in a 315 Dodge D-500 small hemi against legends of supermodified open-wheel racing, including Al and Rollie Beale, Gordon Johncock, Dick Good, and others.

Joy Fair would go on to win the 1961 supermodifieds track championship at Sandusky Speedway.

A few years later, Fair and team took a look at racing in Old Model and Semi-Late stock car divisions, which at the time were emerging in popularity - the earliest predecessor to today’s late models.

This move brought Joy Fair to Flat Rock.

Joy Fair and Flat Rock

Joy Fair’s influence on Flat Rock Speedway can’t be understated. On the track, a hero to generations of racing fans, drivers, crew members, and anyone involved in the short track community in this part of the country. Statistically, he stands alone as the greatest driver in speedway history, with a number of records that are breathtaking to see, and nearly impossible to break. He remains the all-time winner at both Flat Rock and Toledo Speedway.

The legendary Fair, who passed away December 10, 2011 at the age of 81, was one of the top short track racers in the country, amassing over 800 career feature victories around the Midwest in his lifetime.

Of a long career of highlights and legendary moments on track and off, it’s hard to look past 1969 as the year that cemented Fair’s dominance as the driver to beat every weekend in southeast Michigan and beyond.

In 1969, Fair won 9 of 14 Late Model features en route to his second championship at Flat Rock. He would also take the championship in the same division at Toledo Speedway, becoming one of the only drivers to win a championship at Flat Rock Speedway and Toledo Speedway, in the same division, in the same year.

His most complete drive that year came in a 100-lap feature, in which Fair would lap the field on the way to one of the most convincing victories in Speedway history.

1969 would go on to be the year that would define the next decade of Late Model racing at the Level Pebble. This would be the first of four straight championships at Flat Rock. Joy Fair would go on to capture 6 late model championships at Flat Rock alone over the course of the 70’s, ten total between Flat Rock and Toledo.

At Flat Rock, Joy Fair would capture 10 track championships and 159 career feature wins. 

At Toledo, Fair would take 97 feature wins, 7 championships, including 6 in a row from 1967-1972.  Fair became the winner of the inaugural Glass City 200 at Toledo in 1968.

After his last race in Toledo, a special retirement ceremony would be held, Fair would take a ceremonial final lap, and all of the other drivers would line up to honor him.


The DTS Drive Train Specialists Joy Fair Memorial 100

In 2012, Flat Rock announced the Joy Fair Memorial 100 to be held for the first time that summer. As announced in the 2012 press release, “With the blessing of Joy’s family, Flat Rock Speedway will honor the memory of Joy Fair with a memorial race in his name Saturday, Ju[ne] 23 [2012].”

In the pre-race for the first Joy Fair Memorial 100, the speedway would unveil the renaming of Flat Rock’s front stretch grandstand to the “Joy Fair Grandstand”.

In the race, Harold Fair Jr. (no relation) became the first driver to win the Joy Fair Memorial 100, winning over a very competitive field of Outlaw Super Late Model drivers.

Harold Fair Jr. after winning the 1st Annual Joy Fair Memorial 100

This memorial 100-lapper proved to be the first of many. In 2013, Phil Bozell would take his only career Late Model feature win at Flat Rock in the second running of the Joy Fair Memorial 100. Same with Terry Senneker Jr and Steve Needles, who took their first career feature wins at Flat Rock in this yearly event.

Three drivers have more than one victory in this race - Justin Schroeder has taken two wins, one in 2014 and 2017.  Harold Fair Jr would reach Monroe Asphalt Winners Circle once again in 2019, winning his second after he won the inaugural race in 2012.

In 2022, Brian Bergakker (winner 2018, 2021, 2022) became the sole winningest driver of the Joy Fair Memorial 100 when he took his third win in this race, also becoming the first to win in consecutive years and the only driver to win this race since 2019.

In 2023, this event has become a mainstay on the speedway calendar as one of the most important yearly events at Flat Rock Speedway. Tomorrow, May 27th, drivers and fans alike will travel into town from many states and communities, descending on Flat Rock to take part in a race that has blossomed into a crown jewel Memorial Day racing event of its own.

This year’s entry list shows a continuation of the success of this event.






June 23
Harold Fair Jr.


August 10
Phil Bozell


May 24
Justin Schroeder


June 6
Terry Senneker Jr.


June 25
Steve Needles


May 27
Justin Schroeder


May 26
Brian Bergakker


May 25
Harold Fair Jr.




May 29
Brian Bergakker


May 28
Brian Bergakker


May 27

This Saturday: The 11th Running of the DTS Drive Train Specialists Joy Fair Memorial 100

Former multi-time winners Justin Schroeder (’14, ’17) and Brian Bergakker (’18, ’21, & ’22) headline this deep field of drivers. Bergakker, the defending winner, looks to break his own record on Saturday Night and become the first to win three straight editions of this race. He’ll have to answer to a big field of drivers, local and regional! 2022 champion Eric Lee looks to take his first feature win of 2023. He’s currently tied for first in ARCA Moran Chevrolet Outlaw Super Late Model points with Chris Benson, who made headlines two weekends ago with his first feature win at Flat Rock since 2009. 

Other drivers include veterans Paul Pelletier, Stan Yee Jr., Joe Hawes, and others alongside young drivers such as Conner Zbozien, RJ Cornett, Max Fair, and others who look to take a big win at a small track this Saturday Night!

This Saturday: The Midwest Modifieds Tour Motor City 50

The Midwest Modifieds Tour comes to Flat Rock on Saturday Night as a double-packing of action at the Level Pebble. This series produced a great record-breaking day of action at Toledo in May of 2022, and is providing a new and exciting event this year. 27 drivers are currently on the entry list, including a number of names that will excite! Five states and Canada are represented, including Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, West Virginia, Virginia, and Ontario.

Names that local fans are familiar with are on the entry list. Three DTS Drive Train Specialists Street Stock A-Main champions will compete, as

  • 1993 street stock champion Kale Asztalos will return to the Rock in the #81 car,
  • 2006 street stock champion and 2014 Moran Chevrolet Outlaw Super Late Model champion Steve Cronenwett Jr. is entered in the #21 car, and
  • 2022 street stock champion and two-time R&M Recycling Figure 8 champion Jeremy Vanderhoof.

Brian Bergakker will be performing double-duty in both Late Models and the Modifieds.

This Saturday: R&M Recycling Figure 8’s

The R&M Recycling Figure 8 division will be in action this Saturday night for their fourth consecutive weekend of racing at Flat Rock! Greg Studt, Dennis Whisman Jr, and Jeremy Vanderhoof each took turns with the checkered flag over the past three weeks, and a wide-ranging field will look to make it four-in-four to close out the month of May.

Tickets for Saturday night’s race are $25 for adults, $5 for kids 6-12, and free for kids under 6.

For complete event information for this night of racing including full entry lists, please click the link here. For updates, please follow Flat Rock Speedway on Facebook, or our new Instagram and Twitter pages.

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