We are saddened to report the passing of Joyce Smith, “Mrs. Speedway.” With her family at her side, she lost her courageous 34 month battle with cancer on Sunday. She is now in a better place, free of pain, and with her Savior in Heaven.
In 1952, fresh out of college and newlywed, Joyce Smith loaned her husband “Speedy Bill” the $300 he needed to start Speedway Motors. Throughout the years, Joyce’s outgoing and friendly nature served Speedway Customers well… “No one could sell hub caps, fender skirts and continental tire kits like Joyce!” Joyce was initially Speedway’s bookkeeper, parts runner and counter gal and always served as Financial Officer, Corporate Secretary and Treasurer. Joyce was a trailblazer, a tireless working mom who labored 60-plus hour weeks at Speedway while raising her four boys and still finding time to teach Sunday school. As a respected businesswoman, she was honored to serve and direct many organizations, several as their first female board member.
She was a true “car gal” in a man’s world. In the early days Joyce’s daily driver was her prized red ‘34 Ford pickup, a Rebel’s car club show winner.
Always at Speedy Bill’s side for 60 years, Joyce attended or worked more races, car shows, trade-shows than almost anyone in America. Since their inception, she walked the swap meet fields of Hershey, and worked the aisles of SEMA, Daytona, PRI and attended countless street rod and racing events. In 2005 she was honored as Goodguys’ Woman of the Year! As the proud co-founder of the Museum of American Speed, Joyce now shares her love and knowledge of racing and rodding history for future generations.
Joyce’s friendly, outgoing personality was genuine. She loved people and she was liked and respected by all who had the pleasure of knowing her. The entire Speedway Nation will miss you Joyce!
Bill, Carson, Craig, Clay and Jason Smith
In lieu of flowers, please share with us your memories of Joyce:
Joyce Smith Memorial
Museum of American Speed
599 Oak Creek Dr.
Lincoln, NE 68528
See what Joyce's friends and colleagues are saying here