View Full Version : Sad news - Joe Smiley

07-13-2015, 09:29 AM
Joe Smiley passed away this past Saturday. A longtime competitor and supporter of Solo 1/Time Attack with his 'Canal Rat' Corvette, Joe was always there with a smile and to help anyone he could with his wisdom where ever he could.
The CASC family wants to wish our deepest condolences to Joe's family at this most difficult time.

Details here:

Nick Majors
07-13-2015, 10:14 AM
Joe was a wonderful man and will be missed by the entire motorsport community.

He was recognized with the CASC "Master of Time and Speed" lifetime achievement award a few years ago. (That award was created, largely with Joe and a few others in mind)

I think that I may well have quit competitive motorsports in my first year of Solosprint had it not been for some very kind & encouraging words from Joe Smiley.

Thanks Joe!

Nick Majors

Rob Martin
07-13-2015, 10:25 AM
That is very sad news. I first met Joe, and the "Canal Rat" in 1983, my first year in Solo 1. Loved the car and watching Joe wheel it around Shannonville and Picton. Wise, and always willing to lend a hand, weekends at the track were always better when they were present.

RIP Joe and my condolences to Joe's family.

Rob Martin
GT1 Camaro #167

07-13-2015, 10:37 AM
I didn't know Joe long, but when we spoke it was as though we were friends.
Deepest condolences to his family.
A great loss for motorsports and Ontario Time Attack.

07-13-2015, 10:46 AM
One of the best men I have known. You will be remembered Joe for your positive spirit and commitment.

07-13-2015, 10:52 AM
Joe will be remembered as an outstanding gentleman who was always ready to lend a hand. He was always fun to watch on the track - and his campfire stories after a day of racing were outstanding. You'll be missed, Joe!

07-13-2015, 11:47 AM
This is sad news indeed - Joe was a great guy who brought a lot to our sport. It was a real privilege having him as a fellow competitor through the years - his commitment and helpfulness, and the obvious joy he received from taking part really epitomized what this series is about. He will be greatly missed.

Miss you Joe - RIP.

07-13-2015, 01:26 PM
It has been our good fortune to have "Joe" as a true friend and gentleman, and our great sorrow this time to say good bye.
Thank you Joe for enriching our lives with such wonderful memories - we miss you dearly - May you rest in peace -
Kathy and Mohamed Hussain

07-13-2015, 01:43 PM
Always dropped whatever I was doing to watch Joe and his Canal Rat tear up the track.
I feel very fortunate to have had a chance to hang out with him.

My very deepest condolences to his family.

We all will miss him very much.

R.I.P. Sir.

07-13-2015, 05:57 PM
Always enjoyed seeing Joe and his full of personality corvette at time attack events. Never did get a chance to tell him that I found his participation inspirational. Perhaps he knows now.

07-13-2015, 06:28 PM
I remember Joe Smiley muscling his Canal Rat from when I started Solo 1 in the nineties and as many have said before, a wonderful and encouraging man always wanting to help others and the sport. Definitely a big loss for our community and more than likely many others. RIP Joe. My condolences to Joe's family.

Steve T

fast Ed
07-13-2015, 10:35 PM
Wow, that is sad news. Such a nice man, he and his wife were always so friendly, even to new twits like me showing up. Condolences to his family.

07-13-2015, 10:47 PM
Joe was a fixture at the track for a lot of us. He had a smile for everyone, kind words, he openly shared his racing experiences and time attack challenges.

I do hope that at his age I can still get back on the track.

Thanks Joe for inspiring us all!

Chuck Atkins
07-14-2015, 09:44 AM
Joe was a true gentleman and a great ambassador for Solo1, SoloSprint and Time Attack. Joe would be at every event acting as our Chief Scrutineer as well as getting his "Canal Rat" ready for competition. If Joe had not had back issues over the last few years he probably would still have been competing this summer.

The story behind his CR is truly amazing!

Joe was always there to help his fellow competitors. He will truly be missed going forward!

Rob McAuley
07-14-2015, 12:53 PM
He was just out at out competition at Cayuga a couple of weeks ago, and the same Joe that I've known for the past 15 years.

He will be missed.

07-14-2015, 05:56 PM
A video of Joe and the Canal Rat.


07-14-2015, 06:42 PM
Arriving Friday night for practice and unpacking at a Solo1 event has never been described as fun after a long rush hour commute to the track. But before long, Joe would wander by your paddock spot and talk about the track, or changes to the car, tire pressures, safety equipment, lap times, or whatever. Then you'd notice you were smiling and focused on the weekend's competition as he signed your logbook and went off to the next new arrival.

A gentleman, and the benchmark of the term ambassador to the sport. He will be sadly missed by the many whose lives he touched.

07-15-2015, 12:05 AM
I posted this on my facebook site this morning.

I first met Joe Smiley at the track in 1992 when I signed on for the Loctite Permatex race series out of Shannonville Motorsports Park. A retired Hamilton cop, when he found out I was in the same business, we became fast friends. Everyone went to talk to Joe at the track but he would come to see me just to talk about the job. Then we would both go out and kick the crap out of our cars on the track. He loved his career in law enforcement and he loved to race. I last saw him just a few years ago when I stopped by the track on my way home from Mosport. We sat in the stands and talked like we always had before. Rest in Peace Joe, you did it right with the Canal Rat 55 Corvette, You knew how to have fun. Racing is life. Everything in between is just waiting.

07-15-2015, 10:12 AM
Joe was a strong competitor as well as a great mentor. In fact Joe competed for FTD at OTA events well into his seventies, often finishing in the top 5 or 10 fastest raw times.

On one occasion at the Mosport Grand Prix track I was in my instructor's car for a ride-along (a super-clean race-prepped E30 M3) and Joe's Franken-Vette passed us on the back straight just before turn 8. Sure enough by the front straight the M3 had pulled ahead on the strength of good driving and a superior suspension. What ensued was a dice that lasted 4-5 laps and taught me a great deal about maintaining momentum in a low powered car. Afterward Joe came by to thank my instructor for the fun times on track. I'll always remember the biggest smile I ever saw on Joe's face. To this day whenever I enjoy one of those dices myself I remember Joe.

The last time I saw him at the track was at a 2014 Shannonville OTA event. He'd had an non-car accident and injured his leg or hip and was under doctor's orders not to race. We chatted and as always he flashed that genuine smile of his when we swapped track stories. I wished him a speedy recovery and a return to the track for the 2015 season as I chased away the thought that he was saying goodbye. He will not be forgotten.

07-15-2015, 07:47 PM
When I first read the title, I was a little sad but the good memories of Joe blasting down the front straight at Shannonville, seeing him having coffee in the morning outside the camper etc. brought a smile.

my condolences to his family.

what a great guy!