On Sunday July 23rd as the Bedford Fairgrounds celebrates the 144th Annual Bedford Fair there will be a a Joe Ciski Tribute race and the Laurel Highlands Sprint Car Series IMCA Race Saver 305’s will be part of that event to honor a fallen racer. The sprint car feature will be 24 laps, Ciski’s sprint car number, and there will be some extra money in the purse as well. For those racers and fans who may never have heard of Joe Ciski he was quite a guy and racing innovator. A big THANK YOU to historian David B. Dykes for sharing this bit of information on Joe:
Joe Ciski won his first feature on the 1/5-mile at Riverside Park Speedway in Massachusetts on May 4, 1957. Before that first win he was turning heads as a talented driver, being named the 1956 United Stock Car Club ‘Most Promising Driver’ and the 1958 NEMA ‘Rookie of the Year. He was the 1961 NEMA Non-Offy Owner Champion, and the 1962 NEMA Non-Offy Driver Champion. He followed up as the 1963 and 1965 NEMA Driver Champion. In 1964, he was named United Racing Club ‘Rookie of the Year’ and he was the ARDC (American Race Driver’s Club) Driving Champion in 1966. Ciski listed two ARDC 100-lap races, one at the Old Bridge Speedway and one at the Wall Stadium, along with a 50-lapper at the Trenton Speedway all in New Jersey in 1966 as three of his biggest wins!!! Sadly his life ended tragically from injuries sustained at the Bedford Speedway Fairgrounds in August of 1967 during a URC sprint car event.
In addition to this according to The Tribute Project, an auto racing memorial statistic effort the late Crocky Wright provided this information on Joe Ciski:
The 31 year old driver from West Willington, Conneticut was a talented car builder as well as a driver. He was the NEMA (Northeast Midget Association) Champion in 1962 and 1963 and took top honors in the ARDC in 1966. He had scored his 1st URC (United Racing Club) sprint car win one month earlier at Quebec, Canada driving his unique Ford powered 6-cylinder sprint car!!!