Journalist, author, historian
Much of what we know about the history of American open wheel racing, we know because of Los Angeles-area scrivener Joe Scalzo. A former motorcycle racer, Scalzo penned definitive biographies of inductees Gary Nixon, Dick Mann and Bart Markel, as well as several on Evel Knievel. His books about racing on four wheels have been just as plentiful, authoritative and admired, including City of Speed: Los Angeles and the Rise of American Racing, The Bobby Unser Story, The Unbelievable Unsers, Indy 500 Mechanic with Clint Brawner, Indianapolis Roadsters 1952-1964, Stand on the Gas! Sprint Car Racing in America, Dirt Track Daredevils and The American Dirt Track Racer. In addition, Scalzo was a longtime star columnist for Open Wheel and other leading American motorsports journals and American correspondent for Britain’s Motor Sport, arguably the sport’s magazine of record. The hallmark of a Scalzo piece is the combination of rigorous reporting with a style that captures the drama and emotion of racing. Scalzo was inducted into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame in 2002.