Today marks the 50th anniversary of the death of Joe Tracy , one of the best Vanderbilt Cup Race drivers. In tribute to Joe and his mechanican Al Poole, I have placed a five-minute film of their racing careers in the Blog.
Joe Tracy was a race driver and engineer born on March 22, 1873 in Waterford, Ireland. At the age of 18, Joe emigrated to the United States and became an American citizen. Soon after, he became a professional chauffeur and race driver.
Tracy participated in the 1904 Daytona-Beach Tournament driving a Peerless to second place in a 5-mile race. He drove in the 1905 Gordon Bennett Race held in France, but completed only two laps after stripping gears of his Locomobile.
Joe Tracy's greatest racing successes were driving Locomobiles at the Vanderbilt Cup Races held on Long Island. He was the only driver to particpate in the first five races associated with this historic series (1904 Vanderbilt Cup Race, the 1905 American Elimination Race, the 1905 Vanderbilt Cup Race, the 1906 American Elimination Race, and the 1906 Vanderbilt Cup Race). His best results were third place in the 1905 Vanderbilt Cup Race and first place in the 1906 American Elimination Race. In all five races, Al Poole drove along side Tracy as the mechanician.
After 1906, Tracy retired from racing and became a consulting engineer for the automotive industry. Joe Tracy died on March 20, 1959 at the age of 86.