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Dick Joslin
September 18, 1926      Died: January 23, 1972
Home: Orlando, FL

Dick Joslin
by: Marty Little

Joslin began his racing career on Central Florida ovals in 1948 and quickly chalked up wins at Sunbrock Speedway, Orlando Raceway and Deland Fairgrounds just to name a few. Track championships soon followed and it was time to move on to NASCAR where he participated in various events on the famed beach/road course. Running his own '39 Ford Sportsman, Joslin came home the winner of the beach run in 1954 for his biggest career win.

Racing out of Columbia, S.C. Joslin hit many small dirt ovals like Columbia, Newberry and Lancaster where he again topped many of the best wheelmen of the time. In 1956, Dick built a new Dodge and chased the NASCAR convertible circuit around the country before returning to Orlando at mid-season for Jerry's birth. For the next few seasons he participated in a variety of Grand National (now Nextel Cup) events as well as selected short track runs in a variety of cars. In 1962 Joslin ran his last race in a Dumont Smith owned Chevy late model and became the pit steward at Orlando Raceway. An automobile salesman by trade, Joslin was a familiar fixture at Leppere Pontiac which later became McNamara Pontiac. He also took over the promotional reins at Orlando Raceway and organized the state's promoters under the SEPAC banner, striving for a common set of car rules.

Dick Joslin's passing came in early 1972, the result of heart problems, and one of the most popular, outgoing racers of the era was gone, but certainly not forgotten. His son, Jerry Joslin, was brought up in racing but music was his calling and he toured professionally for several years before finding his way back to Orlando in the late 80s. Like his father, Jerry was an "iron peddler" (car salesman) and spent many years at Sonny King's Orange Buick/GMC Truck in Orlando. He and younger brother Jimmy convinced Speed World promoters Clyde and Robert Hart to stage a memorial race in their father's honor in 1993 with Dick Anderson the winner of the 100 lap late model run in Buddy Foster's potent Dodge. From that beginning the event has blossomed into one of the most prestigious special events in the state and has featured the popular Florida modifieds since 1995.

1993 Dick Anderson, late model; 1994 Dick Anderson, late model; 1995 Doug Moff and Jerry Symons, twin modifieds; 1996 Doug Moff, modified; 1997 Ross Eldridge, modified;
1998 Jeremy Fitch, modified; 1999 Teddy Nelson, modified.



Jeremy Fitch, 1998 Winner of Joslin Memorial at Orlando SpeedWorld







More Info: Dick Joslin Memorial 100 for  Florida Modifieds takes place at Orlando SpeedWorld. The event honors a former hometown racer who enjoyed success as both a  driver and track promoter for more than 20 years. Joslin, who passed away in 1972 due to heart failure, was instrumental in organizing Florida track promoters under the SEPAC banner to set a standard set of rules so that tracks and racers knew what to expect on any  given race night. Needless to say it was an uphill battle.

In addition to a great 100 lap feature for some of the best open wheel pilots in the state, the event annually draws a large contingent of old timers who get together for an evening of fun, food and storytelling over old scrap books and fond memories. Names like Dumont Smith, Ernie Bass, Leroy Porter, Dick Crowe, Bobby Dawson and Bill Enters are but a few of those expected to be on hand.

The event, begun in 1993 by Joslin's sons Jerry and Jimmy with the cooperation of promoter Robert Hart, draws cars from around the state and has become one of the "must do" events for many race teams regardless of where they compete on a regular basis. Started as a late model race, the modifieds have been the headliner since Doug Moff  and Jerry Symons won the twin 40-lappers in 1995.


Joslin leans on his sportsman car in Sunbrock pits, 1949, his second year racing. After his driving days, Joslin was the respected promoter of Orlando Raceway. He died January, 1972 at age 45.  Photo courtesy of Florida Motorsports Retrosprctive Pictorial.



Dick Joslin's biggest victory came on the beach at Daytona in the 1954 100 mile Sportsman race.
He's shown here with his familiar red and white '39 Ford coupe after the difficult run on the
4.1 mile beach-road course.
Marty Little collection

Joslin was equally at home on tracks big or small. Here, aboard Happy Stiegle's '34 Ford coupe, 
he chases Stan Parker at the old Orlando Raceway in 1959. 
Marty Little collection 

Joslin ran this neat '37 Ford coupe on both pavement and dirt in the late 50s. Built by Roy Jones,
long time car builder for Fireball Roberts, the car featured a 312 cubic inch fuel injected
Y-block Ford engine and offset driveline. The engine was set well back in the frame and the
body was moved aft as well.
Ralph Allen photo from Marty Little collection

Joslin spent most of the 1956 season on the road chasing Convertible Division points. The car was owned by a local chiropractor, William Webb, who was a big race fan. Joslin is shown here at the
famed Soldier Field before a June event. The 'Lil Pogo cartoon character was a fixture on many of Joslin's cars over the years. Bob Sheldon photo from Marty Little collection.

For the 1960 season Joslin was named the driver of Happy Stiegle's 1959 Pontiac out of the
Palm Cove Garage in Eau Gallie (now Melbourne) Florida. Leppere Pontiac of Orlando,
Joslin's employer, provided the sponsorship.
Marty Little collection

Dick Joslin Facts

  • Member of the Prestigious  Union-(formerly Pure) Darlington Record: Celebrated since 1959 at the Darlington Country Club for their performance during qualifying for the Southern 500. The club rewards the highest qualifying driver for each manufacturer for the Labor Day classic, providing each was within 2% of the top qualifying speed. On each driver's initial induction, he is given a navy blue blazer, a ring and a plaque. Those who set a track record are given a white blazer. Drivers who have been recognized multiple times, receive a new plaque each time they are the fastest for their respective make of car. The eight original inductees are: Fireball Roberts (Pontiac); Marvin Panch (Ford); Joe Caspolich (Oldsmobile); Bob Burdick (Thunderbird); Dick Joslin (Dodge); Elmo Langley (Buick); Speedy Thompson (Chevrolet); and Richard Petty (Plymouth).


  • Joslin's Car Number: 16
    Other Drivers with the # 16: Dick Joslin
    , Bill Snowden, Jack O'Brien, Fred Steinbroner, Banjo Matthews, Weldon Adams, Buck Mason, Tim Flock, Tiny Lund, John Seeley, Tommy Irwin, Charlie Cregar, Glen Wood, Jim McGuirk, Danny Weinberg,  Steve McGrath, Joe Weatherly, Elmo Langley, Speedy Thompson, Ralph Earnhardt, Darel Dieringer, Ned Setzer, Bobby Allison, Sam McQuagg, LeeRoy Yarbrough, Tiny Lund, Mark Donohue, Donnie Allison, Dave Marcis, Rusty Wallace, Ed Negre, Dave Sisco, Ray Williams, Glenn Jarrett, Mel Larson, Richard Brickhouse, Chuck Bown, Jim Bown, Butch Lindley, Morgan Shepherd, Bill Osborne, Tommy Ellis, Brett Bodine, Bob Schacht, Tom Rotsell, Larry Pearson, Wally Dallenbach Jr., Ted Musgrave, Kevin Lepage, Greg Biffle

  • Fireball's Friend
    Dick Joslin
    , who raced short tracks up and down the East Coast had a very close relationship with another Florida racer, Fireball Roberts. Joslin was to be Fireball's best man when he married Judy Judge in June of 1964.

  • First at Daytona:
    Dick Joslin drove the first Dodge in the Daytona 500 in 1959. He finished 28th.

  • First at the Beach:
    Running his own '39 Ford Sportsman, Joslin came home the winner of the beach run in 1954 for his biggest career win.

  • The '54 Race: The Daytona’s Week of Speed was scheduled from 14 February 1954 in the 4.15 mile road and beach course on the southern end of the town of Daytona Beach, Florida. The circuit was designed for anti-clockwise traffic with competitors scooting northward along the hard beach into a hard left turn, through the sand dunes for a few hundred feet to a hard surfaced roadway, thence southward for two miles where another similar cut through the dunes brought them back to the beach. Under Bill France’s direction, and NASCAR sanction, the event was organized throughout one week in February each year: the Daytona’s Week of Speed started with straightaway time-trials being held on a five-mile strip of hard beach sand, that attracted cars and drivers of all makes and all Countries, and these days were climaxed by the running of three major road-beach races on the closing Friday 19 February – the Nascar Sportsman race, Saturday 20 – the Modified and Sportsmen race, and Sunday 21 – the limited race to strictly American stock-cars.
    The 1954 event was defined by the organizers as the last automobile race to be scheduled on the road-beach circuit, because, according to the plans, the stock-car races would be transferred to an ultra-modern autodrome under construction just west of the town of Daytona Beach, but the traditional speed-trials would be continued on the beach as usual.
    Until Dick Kaufman’s accident happened in the 1954 Saturday race, there had been no fatalities in the Daytona’s weeks events during the previous 19 years.
    The Saturday race for Modified and Sportsmen started smoothly with a flying start but had just got well into the second lap when Dick Kaufman – 23 years old from Harrisburg, PA – flipped his ’49 Oldsmobile end over end several times in front of the north stands. Kaufman was badly hurt, and Bill France in person, driving the control-car at the south turn pulled into the course carrying a red flag. Under this set-up all drivers fall into line behind the control-car and at the end of third lap the race had been halted and the track cleared. Kaufman died shortly after being removed from his car.
    After the accident cars were realigned and the race restarted, devoid of further mishaps: Everett Cotton Owens in a Chrysler powered ’38 Plymouth won his second Saturday race in a row. The other races of the week-end were won by Dick Joslin in a 1939 Ford the wet Friday race, and Lee Petty in a ‘54 Chrysler New Yorker the Sunday stock-car race, after the disqualification of the current winner Tim Flock in a ‘54 Oldsmobile 88, for altered carburetor.

  • 1955 Beach Race:
    Front row starters Tim Flock and Lee Petty, in a pair of Chrysler 300s, lead the 48-car field on the pace lap prior to the start of the 1955 Daytona Beach Grand National. The second row consists of Dick Rathmann and Fireball Roberts, with Dick Joslin (red car inside) and Junior Johnson occupying the third row. Flock was declared the winner after apparent winner Roberts was disqualified.

Picture courtesy Greg Fielden


Also: The 1955 Modified race: was a tragic one as it ended at 76 miles due to a fatal crash on the blacktop "backstretch".  Al Briggs of Lake Worth, Fla. lost his life in the fiery crash that also involved Cotton Owens and Jimmy Thompson in Dick Joslin's #71 among others.



Grand National Driver Statistics

Year Age Races Win T5 T10 Pole Laps Led Earnings Rank AvSt AvFn RAF Miles LLF
1955 28 1 of 45 0 0 1 0 38 0 425 95 5.0 7.0 1 155.8 0
1957 30 1 of 53 0 0 1 0 48 0 100 128 15.0 10.0 1 76.8 0
1958 31 1 of 51 0 0 0 0 6 0 0 177 29.0 43.0 0 24.6 0
1959 32 4 of 44 0 0 0 0 338 0 485 39 33.0 26.8 1 793.2 0
1960 33 3 of 44 0 0 0 0 302 0 535 73 20.7 22.3 3 755.0 0
5 years 10 0 0 2 0 732 0 1,545   24.3 23.4 6 1805.4 0

Grand National Owner Statistics

Year Driver Races Win T5 T10 Pole Laps Led Earnings Rank AvSt AvFn RAF Miles LLF
1959 Dick Joslin 4 0 0 0 0 338 0 485 39 33.0 26.8 1 793.2 0
1960 Jim Reed 1 0 0 0 0 35 0 2,240 44 37.0 44.0 0 52.5 0
2 years 5 0 0 0 0 373 0 2,725   33.8 30.2 1 845.8 0


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