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Seven Decades of Speedway Motors: Carson, Craig & Clay Smith | Episode 25

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Show Notes

Growing up at a speed shop doesn’t give you the “normal” childhood.

And when your parents were Bill and Joyce Smith, founders of Speedway Motors, your life looks radically different than most kids. Whether it’s piling parts in the rafters, sitting at a table with Carroll Shelby, or driving an Excalibur back to Lincoln, Nebraska, from Virginia, life comes at you fast.

That was life for Carson, Craig, Clay and Jason Smith, the four sons of Bill and Joyce Smith. They were there from the beginning and watched Speedway Motors go from humble beginnings, dodge disaster, and become the speed shop it is today. For our 70th Anniversary episode, we talk to Carson, Clay and Craig about the history, growth and future of Speedway Motors. Jason passed away in 2021 joining Bill and Joyce, but we continue to celebrate his passion for racing, dedication to our customers, and the forever impact they all had on our company, community, and family.

We hear from the three brothers about Bill and Joyce, the early days of Speedway Motors and the Lincoln hot rodding community that sprang up around the local Air Force base. The brothers share about how the Museum of American Speed began and the importance of preserving automotive history. Finally, each brother shares about the most important aspect of Speedway Motors – customers like you, and how your passion for cars has fueled the automotive community from the beginning.

After quickly outgrowing the first Speedway Motors location, Bill and company moved to 1719 N Street in Lincoln and would stay there for over two decades.
Here's where it all began. Bill and Joyce by one of the early 4x race cars.
Clay mentions collating the first "catalogs" around the dining room table. Here's one of them.
Bill and Joyce
Here are the Smith brothers at the track. From left is Carson, Jason, Craig, and Clay.
The Smith brothers with Bill and Joyce.
Carson, Craig, and Clay in the Museum of American Speed on the day of our interview.

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