Tribute: Joe Young Sr., 1936-2011
 
 
Greetings F.E.A.R. fans! With the passing of Joe Young Sr. this past fall, I've chosen to reprint the 1981 article profiling Joe and the Young clan. Ballard born Navy Veteran Joe actually got his start in racing in the 60's, pitting on a "Welscar" stock car for the early 5/8 track program at Evergreen as well as a WMRA midget and a Modified at the Sky Valley dirt track. Joe could certainly claim the title "First Father of FEAR" having put all seven of his children and various family friends in figure-eight cars over the years, starting with Joe Jr. and sibling Teresa along about 1976. What a great promoter of racing and a friend to all those involved at Evergreen. I will always consider myself fortunate to have known and competed with Joe Sr. and other members of his family on the "Eight," with my first F.E.A.R. main event being run in a borrowed "scrap iron team" car, back in 1981. Thanks for the memories Joe, it's been a privilege! Now here's that article! 
 
Tom Claibourn, F.E.A.R. Historian
 
Forget the Richard Pettys, the Johnny Rutherfords and the AJ Foyts of racing.
 
Joe Young Sr. doesn't believe in it. To Young, racing should be just a lot of fun. If you happen to win, great! If you don't, well, theres always another race. 
 
Some might say that Young is cut from a different mold than the average person involved with sports. Young tends to agree. He believes there's a simple reason.
 
"My wife and I have seven kids. Every one of them has friends. So our whole life has been built around kids," stresses Young. "It's always family. Group skiing, skating, scouts, teen club. My family comes first."
 
"I've got an eight-door limousine, an old airporter. We always fill it up anytime we go some place. Before that we had a 58 passenger bus. Everything we did was as a group."
 
So maybe it stood to reason that when Young became involved with auto racing in the early 1960's, the venture would eventually evolve into a family-type experience. But the family came first for the Youngs.Thus it wasn't until 1977 that the north Seattle couple returned its attention to racing. But the kids and their friends, "the family" as Young likes to say, still came first.
 
"You see some people in racing, and pretty soon racing comes first before everything else. My family comes first. So when I started back in the 1960's, I decided I wouldn't drive untile the kids were all raised. So I didn't drive until last year, or maybe it was the year before last. And that was only because one of our drivers was sick."
 
Note the "our drivers." In the case of the Youngs--Joe Sr. and Marie-- the designation is significant. Ever heard of the "Scrap Iron Racing Team?"
 
Well, if that's not a name which rings a bell, then you haven't been dropping out to Monroe's Evergreen Speedway on Saturday nights the last few summers. If you had, it would be hard to miss the "Scrap Iron" team competeing in the popular figure eight racing class of the highly-successful weekend event.  
 
When Young was first involved with racing, it was as a mechanic, a sponsor, you-name-it, in a variety of different Northwest racing associations. Now nearly 20 years later, Young still rarely drives. He is the mind behind the "team."
 
In figure eight racing, that can be a job in itself. Cars often take a beating when the middle of the track is an intersection. Dented fenders and crumpled doors aren't uncommon. In fact, it was due to the condition of a car Young and his family ran at Evergreen, that the nickname "Scrap Iron Racing Team" came into existance. 
 
"Bob Hardwick was announcing one of the races, and he was kidding about the shabby-looking car. He kept saying, "What is that? That isn't a car, it doesn't even have a shape." They called it Reynolds Wrap, because we painted our cars silver and black. I think Hardwick was quite responsible for the name 'Scrap Iron.' Then at our awards banquet at the end of the year, he gave us a plastic bag so we could put the recycled car in it."
 
From that humbled and humorous beginning, the "Scrap Iron" team has multiplied. It's even produced a winner, although the Young clan and friends are hardly hauling big paychecks to the banks. And, far be it that they might be thnking  of a different class of competition. The family and fun motives will always be foremost with the team as long as Young is keeping the operation going.
 
"We just go through the newspaper, and if we see one (a car) we buy it. If it costs too much, we just pass it up. Most of our cars are 65-66 Chevs. Some times we pick ones up from racers at the track. Last year we had 10 of them, all silver and black, running with us. That's what we're planning to have for opening weekend (Saturday night). Or we hope so, although we still have some things to finish on a few. 
 
The 10 cars, which competed last sumer, were the most for the "Scrap Iron" team for one season. Interestingly, the cars also bear similar numbers: 21, 31, 41 and the like, up to 91. Last year, though, the team added a new number: No. 1. That's because Joes oldest son, 20-year old Joe Jr. (Joey), won the figure 8 stock division championship. Thus Joey will carry No. 1 on his car this year.
 
"Everybody likes to race and win. Joey just likes to do it a little more than some of the rest of us," said the senior Young. "Hes been racing now about four years. He is a pretty good driver."
 
But he'll continue to have competition from the family -- 22 year old Teresa, Melanie (19), Mike (18) and Paul (17) and the family's young friends. And probably, every once in a while, "Dad" Young will take a turn behind the wheel of one of the cars.
 
Just as certain there will be the humorous incidents  which continue to make the sport fun for the Youngs and friends. There's little question that the team is helped some by the parts and supplies which Young acquires through his Seattle automotive business, a company at which most of the team's drivers are employed. But costs are kept at a minimum. (Joey's car is 3 years old and can only boast a reworked motor).
 
All of us work together on the cars and the trucks we use to haul them," said Young. "That makes it a family situation. I've probably bought more pit passes in one season than anyone else. Every weekend when we get there, I usually just give them a blank check and they keep a tally of who's going in with the team and fill out the check later.
 
A couple of years ago, out of two trophy dashes, that's eight cars, we had 3 in one and 4 in the other. It was pretty hard for us not to get a trophy then. We had things pretty well locked up.
 
"But even with Joe winning last year, the big thing is that we just like to go racing. A lot more of the drivers are getting pretty serious; they want ot challenge you. But we just like to have a lot of fun. We'll help anyone and everybody. That's the way we like it.
 
"When it's not fun anymore, then we'll hang it up."
 
With the kind of fun the "Scrap Iron" team has, don't count on the end coming soon. Certainly not before this weekend's season opener at Evergreen.
 
"We'll be there." vows Young.
 
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