People Places & Racing News

Joyce Smith of Speedway Motors Passes Away

Compiled by SEMA Editors

joyceJoyce Smith of Speedway Motors passed away last Sunday after a 34-month battle with cancer.

Co-founder of Speedway Motors Joyce Smith, “Mrs. Speedway,” passed away Sunday, August 4, after a courageous 34-month battle with cancer.

Smith played an integral role in the Speedway Motors business since its inception in 1952. Fresh out of college, Joyce loaned her new husband, “Speedy” Bill, the $300 he needed to start the Lincoln, Nebraska-based speed shop. She worked alongside him 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.

Her six-decade involvement with Speedway Motors earned her a wonderful reputation throughout the racing world and performance industry. Her tremendous impact on the automotive community was recognized in 2005 when she was honored with the Goodguys Woman of the Year Award. As the co-founder of the Museum of American Speed, Smith was able to share her profound love of racing and rodding with future generations.

She is survived by her husband “Speedy” Bill Smith and children Carson, Craig, Clay and Jason.

Funeral services will be private. A public celebration of life is scheduled for late September. In lieu of flowers, the Smith family asks that friends share their memories of Joyce through a memorial at the Museum of American Speed:

Joyce Smith Memorial
Museum of American Speed
599 Oak Creek Dr.
Lincoln, NE 68528