VINTON, Iowa (Dec. 4) – A self-described fan and ‘Late Model guy’ has been named director of the division by IMCA.
Joe Hayes will focus on helping tracks strengthen their IMCA Speedway Motors Weekly Racing programs as well as Deery Brothers Summer Series events in the newly-created Late Model division director position.
“I’ve always been a Late Model guy. They put on a great show,” said Hayes, who grew up following the exploits of his favorite drivers at Tunis Speedway and was director of marketing at IMCA before working for promoters Al Frieden and Keith Simmons. “When you drop the green flag on 20-24 of them it makes all the hard work you’ve put into the program worth it.”
Along with making regular track visits, Hayes will work closely with IMCA Vice President of Operations Jim Stannard in getting new sanctions and in overseeing the continued development of the Late Model division.
“What I’ve always enjoyed most about racing is the people involved in it and their passion for the sport. I’ve met so many good people in racing,” Hayes said. “IMCA has that same passion for Late Models. I want to help this division prosper and grow.”
He’d been an integral part of the IMCA staff that saw the numbers of sanctions and member drivers explode in the mid-1990s. Hayes met Frieden during his IMCA travels and soon found himself enjoying his favorite sport in a new capacity.
“My time with Al was pretty unique. He was a hell of a person and a hell of a promoter. There was no job that was beneath him,” Hayes said. “I helped him promote 75 to 80 shows a year, opening with the Busch All-Star race at Davenport in the spring and ending with the West Liberty 100 in the fall.”
Hayes, the branch manager at Bearing Distributors Inc. in Cedar Rapids, also worked at Farley Speedway and Dubuque Speedway the last year and a half. He and his wife Dawn have two sons, Chase and Brody, both students at Kirkwood Community College.
Randy Anderson will continue his role as IMCA’s Late Model competition director, overseeing enforcement of the rules and tech inspection.
“The timing is perfect for Joe to rejoin our staff. We’d been in communication during his involvement with two of our sanctioned tracks and he will be a very good fit at IMCA, especially in this capacity,” said IMCA President Brett Root. “Joe will do a great job and I hope our Late Model promoters and drivers recognize our commitment to the Late Model division and its growth.”