ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. — Industry veteran Joe Cirruzzo Sr., owner of A Elegant/ELS Transportation Network of Staten Island, N.Y., and a member of the NLA Board of Directors, was honored Sunday, July 25 at Raceway Park in Englishtown, N.J. during its Nostalgia and Summer Nationals and Old Time Drags Day.
Cirruzzo raced funny cars in the late 1960s and early 70s under the name of Joe Black, including his Chevrolet Camaro called the Green Hornet. He was a top money winner on the East Coast drag racing circuit until he retired in 1972 when his vehicle caught fire during a race. Many remember the Green Hornet team which promoted drag racing by appearing regularly at shopping centers along the East Coast where fans could have photos taken with the car and Cirruzzo.
Cirruzzo was given a plaque on Sunday and the title of honorary starter for all races. “It was great to be honored and amazing that so many people remembered when I was racing,” Cirruzzo said. He spent the day on the track and in the pits with the racers. Jack Lippi, who raced with Cirruzzo in the 70s, had a car in the day’s race. He reminisced about losing the Iowa Nationals with Cirruzzo because he forgot to put gas in the vehicle.
Cirruzzo was reunited with other racing peers at the track. “Many of the guys that I raced with aren’t around any longer but their sons and daughters are continuing the racing legacy,” Cirruzzo said. He has retired from racing but will continue to participate in the sport as a spectator and through the old timers’ alumni groups.
Source: Linda Moore, LCT Magazine