They called him BUBBLE GUM JOE. Joe Bubbico was probably the best known "UNDERDOG" of the 70's driving his #18 in the rear of the field, usually several laps down before the feature was over. Joe, though, would be the first one to help whenever another competitor needed something and without drivers like Joe Bubbico, who showed up week after week without competitive equipment just for the fun of racing there wouldn't have been enough cars in the field and there wouldn't have been racing.
Joe never really had a "home" track as he would show up at Thompson Speedway one week, Plainville Stadium the next week, Stafford or Waterford some other weekend, but Joe usually showed up somewhere during the racing week and more often than not 2 or 3 tracks during the week. Some of these underdogs like Joe would win a race now and then. Joes only win came in a heat race at Plainville Stadium in 1976, but Joe was usually at some track every week to race.
Most wonder what happened to Joe as he seemed to just disappear from the North East Racing Scene. Joe now lives in Southern California and the 51 year old is still racing. In 2000 Joe finished 4th in Points at San Bernadino's Orange Show Speedway in their Premier Late Model Division finishing in the top five on 5 occasions, with 2 seconds, and the top ten 14 times in 16 features. Joe has also raced successfully at the Iwindale and Mesa Marin Raceways in California. Joe also won his first Main Event, finishing 1st at the Orange Show Speedway in 1999.
Joe is now the Reverend Joe Bubbico and still helping people. In 1997 Joe was instrumental in the capture of Carl Ashcraft , who was featured on the Americas Most Wanted TV Show, and had kidnapped a 38 year old Ohio mother and her daughter and held them for 18 days hostage. The Mother had pleaded to several persons for help when she got away and Ashcraft still had her daughter, and every one ignored her including a Security Guard. Joe was the only one to help and called police who captured Ashcraft and freed the daughter.
Joe is know the West Coast Coordinator
of the Racing With Jesus Ministry. Joe's Web Site can be accessed at:
Joe's #18 Modifieds he ran in the
Above Photos from the DONN COTE Collection
The Late Model Sportsman Joe
is now racing on the West Coast.
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