You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Joseph Mattioli, 86, founder of NASCAR’s Pocono Raceway

christian abraham/associated press/file 2000

After studying dentistry, Dr. Mattioli invested in and developed properties in Pennsylvania.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Joseph Mattioli, the founder and chairman of Pocono Raceway, has died following a lengthy illness, NASCAR officials announced yesterday during a preseason press conference at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. He was 86.

Bob Pleban, a vice president at Pocono Raceway, said that family members told him that Dr. Mattioli died yesterday afternoon at Lehigh Valley Hospital Center in Allentown, Pa.

Continue reading below

Dr. Mattioli, a dentist, founded Pocono Raceway in the early 1960’s and ran the speedway for more than four decades with his wife, Rose. The track has hosted 68 Sprint Cup Series events.

Dr. Mattioli and his wife, Rose, retired last year, handing control of Pocono Raceway to their three eldest grandchildren.

Pocono Raceway is the only remaining family-owned and -run track on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule.

A release by Pocono Speedway said Dr. Mattioli “kept his fingers on the pulse of stock car racing and read everything printed concerning the sport.’’

“He was in the office daily, until last fall, and oversaw all aspects of the Pocono Raceway operations,’’ the release said.

At age 83, Dr. Mattioli spearheaded an ambitious solar energy project. He built a 3-megawatt photovoltaic solar energy system on 25 acres at Pocono Raceway. It is the world’s largest solar-powered sports facility.

Mr. Mattioli served in the Pacific during World War II as a Navy medic.

Using the GI bill, he enrolled in the dentistry program at Temple University.

After graduation, he began investing in and developing properties in Philadelphia and northeastern Pennsylvania, where he became involved in the start-up process of what would become Pocono Raceway.

Loading comments...
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Already a subscriber?
Your city. Your stories. Your Globe.
Yours FREE for two weeks.
Enjoy free unlimited access to Globe.com for the next two weeks.
Limited time only - No credit card required!
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.
Thanks & Welcome to Globe.com
You now have unlimited access for the next two weeks.
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.