TOLEDO, OH: Legendary driver Joy Fair, the Automobile Racing Club of America's (ARCA) all-time win leader, has announced his retirement from racing. Fair, who turns 69 September 10, will be honored in pre-race ceremonies at the Budweiser Glass City 200 presented by Jani-King at Toledo Speedway Sunday afternoon, September 26.
The Pontiac, MI native began his career at the Partington's Pastures Speedway near his hometown in 1949. Fair's exploits include a span of 6 decades, a feat accomplished by just a handful of drivers from across the nation. Fair was a winning driver in 5 of those decades, with victories in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania and Canada. His 10 track titles at Flat Rock, MI Speedway, as well as crowns at Toledo, OH, Mt. Clemens, MI and Ft. Wayne, IN are just a small portion of the many championships Fair has claimed in his time behind the wheel. In the late 1960's and early 1970's, Fair was unstoppable as he and his car owners, William Gillelan and Russell Wainscott, toured the Midwest and virtually destroyed the competition, winning countless big-time events. Gillelan has been with Fair up to his retirement, while Wainscott passed away several years ago.
Fair celebrated his 500th career victory back in 1975, but the count of his feature wins is thought to exceed 700. Joy won the inaugural Glass City 200 at Toledo in 1968, and, ironically, will be honored at the 1999 edition of the event, which is being resurrected after a 22-year absence. Fair also won the first Race Against Cancer held at Toledo in 1976.
While plans are in the works for a farewell to Fair at Flat Rock, Joy Fair's "Final Lap" and the final appearance of the school bus-yellow number 1 will take place at Toledo September 26. Fair will make one final lap in his car, park it on the frontstretch and say goodbye to his legion of fans. Fair will serve as honorary starter of the Glass City 200 and will receive a Gold Card from ARCA President Ron Drager. The door panel will be taken off his machine, autographed and will permanently hang in the Speedway Bar and Grille adjacent to track.
And, in a most-fitting tribute, Fair's number 1 will be retired from ARCA Late Model competition. Several special and surprise guests are expected to be on hand for the ceremony, which will begin at 12:30 p.m. Sunday afternoon of the 26th. "I don't think there is a more fitting gesture of what Joy Fair has meant to ARCA and all of racing than to retire his car number from ARCA competition," stated Ron Drager, President of ARCA. "Every race fan in the Midwest since the 50's knows the name Joy Fair. We are very fortunate that he spent most of his career competing at ARCA tracks in this area. This is a very special day, albeit a sad one, for everyone that has witnessed the career of Joy Fair," noted Drager. "We are very pleased that we will have the opportunity to honor a true legend in motorsports. This day is Joy Fair's day and something he truly deserves."
More details will be announced at a later date. The Budweiser Glass City 200 is a Super Late Model invitational event that will pay $5000 to the winner, with $1000 posted to start the contest. A 35 lap B Main will award $1000 to the winner, with $200 to start. Saturday's action has a Sportsman invitational and the ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck Series 50 lap event, along with practice, qualifying and last-chance races for the Late Models. Time trials are set for 5, with racing at 7 p.m. The Ohio Oval Track Association (OOTA), the Dayton Auto Racing Fan Club (DARF) and the Michigan Auto Racing Fan Club (MARFC) will be guests of the track for Saturday's show. Saturday night will also be UAW Region 2-B Night, with UAW members admitted free with ID badge. Sunday's activities have pre-race ceremonies at 12:30, with the B Main set for 1:30 and the Budweiser Glass City 200 to follow.