Pocono track founder Mattioli dies

5:58 PM, Jan 26, 2012   |    comments
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Long Pond, PA (Sports Network) - Dr. Joseph Mattioli, the founder and chairman of the board of Pocono Raceway, passed away on Thursday at the Lehigh Valley Hospital Center in Pennsylvania, following a lengthy illness. He was 86.

Known as "Doc," Mattioli founded the 2.5-mile Pocono racetrack in the early 1960's and had been at the helm of the track ever since. Pocono has hosted 68 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races to date.

"The entire NASCAR family is saddened by the loss of a true icon in our sport, Dr. Joe Mattioli," NASCAR chairman and chief executive officer Brian France said in a statement. "Doc's relationship with my family reaches three generations, all the way back to my grandfather [NASCAR founder William H.G. France]. His passion for the sport will live on in the hearts of his family and our fans. His contributions to our sport are wide-spread. We have lost a great leader - and a great person. NASCAR offers its deepest condolences to his wife, Rose, and the entire Mattioli family."

Pocono is the only remaining family owned-and-operated track on the current Sprint Cup schedule.

In 2009, Mattioli received the Philanthropic Lifetime Achievement Award presented by the Association of Fundraising Professionals for his contributions to local civic organizations, hospitals, schools and charities. He served on the board of directors of numerous organizations and was dedicated to improving the quality of life in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

Mattioli is survived by his wife, Rose, daughters, Louie and Michele, and son, Joseph Mattioli III, seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Service arrangements for Mattioli were not announced as of Thursday afternoon.

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