Joyce Smith, co-founder of Speedway Motors, wife of “Speedy Bill” Smith and mother to Carson, Craig, Clay and Jason Smith; passed away yesterday after a courageous 34-month battle with cancer. Many Goodguys association members remember Joyce as the 2005 Goodguys Woman of the Year – an honor she received at the Goodguys PPG Nationals in Columbus, Ohio.
Mrs. Smith, was a great friend to an extended family of thousands of Speedway Motors employees, business associates and customers. She played an integral role in the Speedway Motors business since its inception. In fact, she loaned her new husband, “Speedy” Bill, the $300 he needed to start the Lincoln, Nebraska-based speed shop back in 1952. She worked alongside Speedy Bill for the next 61 years, initially serving as Speedway’s bookkeeper, parts runner and counter girl, and always as a financial officer, corporate secretary and treasurer.
Through the decades, Joyce provided crucial support to all facets of the Speedway Motors business. “Every step, every minute, every day, she’s been right there with me,” said “Speedy” Bill in his biography, Fast Company. “I could not have reached this point without her. Even if I had made it this far, it wouldn’t have been near as much fun without her. Joyce was the glue that held everything together.”
Joyce’s six-decade involvement with Speedway Motors earned her a wonderful reputation throughout the racing world and performance industry. As the proud co-founder of the Museum of American Speed, Joyce was able to share her profound love of racing and rodding with future generations.
The Smith family is extremely grateful for the thousands of friends and fans Joyce has in the racing and street rodding communities, but has respectfully requested privacy during this emotional time. Funeral services will be private. A public celebration of life is scheduled for late September.