Column By: MIKE TRAVERSE / RPW – WINGDALE, NY – One of the best advocates for full fender racing in the area has decided to call it a career.
For a long time, Jay Smalley has been a top competitor at the tracks in the Hudson Valley, especially at the Accord Speedway where he has been a multi time winner.
Smalley is also the creator of a very popular Facebook page, the 25,000+ members Street Stock Help Source. The Source has been a great place for competitors to get advice on mechanical issues and set ups. Racers have also been able to keep abreast about big events along with rule interpretations and any other news. The Source has been a most valuable resource for all divisions of full fender racing.
Jay announced on his Facebook page Saturday that he has decided to retire from racing, citing the desire to experience other things that life has to offer.
Here’s part of Jay’s statement from his page,
“I’ve been very fortunate to have had some really awesome people support me, help out, and sponsor me over the years. I will always be grateful to them. I’ve met so many great people, had rivalries, and have gone door to door with some of the greatest wheel men our division has had to offer. I have no regrets and feel I’ve left a positive impression on the class.”
That last sentence posted here is an understatement. Jay has always been one of the most respectful racers during his 22 years on the track. And that respect also carried over to the Source. Jay has always made sure that the Source was doing what was best for the sport.
Jay indicated in the comments on Saturday’s post that he would like for someone to take over the reins of the Street Stock Help Source. Many of us are hoping that whoever that person will be will do as good and respectful a job with the page as Jay has.
Unfortunately for Jay, his season ended earlier than he would have liked. A big crash at Accord’s Halloween Havoc event left his car too damaged to get repaired for one of his favorite events, The Gobbler. It would have been nice for Jay to have had that one last race to compete in. But even with that disappointment, Jay still had the best interests of the racers on his mind. In a post a few days before The Gobbler, he gave the racers some great advice on racing the first few laps of the event. So typical for him to be looking out for his fellow racers.
There were many comments on Jay’s retirement post from fans, fellow competitors and the Accord Speedway management team. When you step away from something that you’ve enjoyed doing with that amount of respect, you know that you’ve done something right. Jay has always been 100% class and he leaves the sport that way.
Jay, you are going to be missed in the local racing world by the fans, competitors and Source members. Thank you for all that you and the Smalley family of racers have put into the sport.