Jocko Maggiacomo
Class of 2000

The late Chauncey "Jocko" Maggiacomo won the first race he started, driving a motorcycle in Milbrook, NY, in 1931. In 1937, he drove his first midget, then switched to stock cars when he returned from serving in World War II. Jocko was so successful that in 1948, his first year back to racing, he won over $13,000.

In the 1930s racers had few of the safety features available for today’s stock cars. In a NEARNEWS interview in 1995, Jocko recalled strapping into his racer with an extra wide leather belt, while wearing a leather helmet that “wouldn’t do much more than hold my hair in place.” Finding that milk delivery tires were more durable than standard passenger tires, Jocko ran them until tires were made specifically for racing application.

Jocko was equally successful on both dirt and asphalt. He achieved great success on the 1/5 mile asphalt bull ring at Riverside Park Speedway where he was an early winner. He is credited with winning 31 Saturday night features and three championships in 1952, '53, and '55.

He was also very successful in the late model Grand American division of Harvey Tattersall’s United Stock Car Racing Club. Most of his wins came while driving cars owned by Gordon Ross, Bob Oliver, and the Garuti brothers.

He retired as a driver after competing in the 1965 Riverside Park 500 lap race.

He remained active as developer of modern racing safety features. He died of natural causes in 1998.