Q&A with Joe McCollough
I have worked at Speedway for 6 years. (Not consecutively; I was in the call center for two, and I've been here exactly four since coming back.) I started in the call center at the very bottom, taking orders on the 1-10pm shift. I then worked in customer service and as a tech on the phones. When I returned to the company in 2014, I began my role as a fabricator in the engineering department. I have recently moved to the content team in the marketing department.
My favorite Speedway project to date has been the purple '67 Camaro. It was awesome to be involved in that car from the very first napkin sketches all the way to its win at Goodguys Scottsdale. We took everything that we had learned from our two previous race cars and dumped it all into one wild Camaro. We knew we wanted huge tires all the way around, an independent rear suspension, seriously low ride height, and that outrageous engine. These elements did not come together easily, but we made it work. Not only did it all fit together, it was fast. Our car was the first non-Corvette to ever win Goodguys Autocrosser of the Year, and that's something that I am very proud of.
I feel like I was born into the industry. While other kids were hearing bedtime stories about castles and unicorns, I was hearing stories about my dad's old GTO that he drag-raced in college and the other automotive shenanigans that followed. When I got my first car, I spent plenty of time wrenching when I should have been studying. This continued into college, when I built a C10 truck in between classes. It was on this project that I fell in love with the art of fabrication, learning the broad strokes from my dad, then continuing on to McPherson College to pursue a degree in automotive restoration. After some time as a fabricator in a hot rod shop, I came back to Speedway Motors to work in the shop.
So far my favorite project has been my ongoing Model A hot rod build. I have built several cars that are far more technical, faster, and shinier, but my little Model A has begun to look a bit like an autobiography. I started it over ten years ago when I had no idea what I was doing. Since then, my skills have improved but much of the old work remains. When it's done, it will read like a map of my career, ugly welds and all.
I have two daughters, and even though they're still pretty young they love coming out to the garage and getting dirty. As long as they're interested, they will be helping me with every project. I want them to experience the joy of creating something with their hands.