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Citrus County Speedway

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Motorheads Directory of MotorSports

 Columns & Editorials

March 15, 2003

Remembering Joe Middleton

by Jane Smith

For those fans who visit Orlando SpeedWorld and New Smyrna
Speedway, they know the familiar #71 Open Wheel Modified of
Joe Middleton.

Joe, who was a long time racer in Super Late Models and Open Wheel
Modifieds, was always the one who would show no matter what.
With his wife by his side, the two would get the car ready and
go racing.

Joe was one of those drivers who would help anyone and everyone,
no matter what division you drove in. He was always there willing
to help.

About a year and a half ago, Joe had to leave racing which was
very hard for him. He was at every regular race that I can
remember and he would be at the World Series of Asphalt Stock
Car Racing with his #71.

Joe had seen racing change over the years and the expenses go
up but although he would not like it, it did not make him quit.
He wanted to race and as long as he could get in that car and
do it, that was what he was going to do.

His wife Marilyn would always be at his side and between the two
of them, that was usually it for a crew. She had every set up,
every tire pressure, every lap down on a piece of paper for Joe.
She was the best Crew Chief he could have ever needed.

Joe had to leave when he got sick with cancer, but every now and
then you would see him and Marilyn in the pit grandstands watching
the races. But I always knew that Joe much rather be out there in
his old modified than sitting in those stands.

Joe Middleton left us this week but for those of us who really knew
Joe, he will not be forgotten. We will always hold the memories
of him and his race car in our hearts. He will always be one of
our racers who forever will race on the track.

God bless Joe and Marilyn Middleton. We love you Joe, we will
miss you but we know that you will race with some of our best
now on that golden track in heaven.

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