Jeffersonville’s Joey Becker, a Thunder Road fixture for more than 25 years, has been recognized by Speedway Illustrated for his contributions to short track racing. The longtime competitor and crew member was presented with a Speedway Illustrated “Challenge Coin” by publisher Karl Fredrickson at the 56th Vermont Milk Bowl this past Sunday.
According to Fredrickson, the Challenge Coin is an extension of the magazine’s “Real Racer” recognition program, which is highlighted by the Ken Schrader Real Racer of the Year Award. The challenge coin concept was adapted from the U.S. Armed Forces, who present the coins as a way of acknowledging that a person has met a high standard of excellence.
A select amount of challenge coins are presented annually by Speedway Illustrated to members of the auto racing community. The presentation is typically discreet, with the presenter explaining the coin is a tangible reminder of the recipient’s impact on the sport.
Becker was recognized for his positive influences on and involvement with auto racing. He spent two decades as a racer at Thunder Road, with the American-Canadian Tour (ACT), and at numerous other tracks around the region. During his career, he progressed from the Allen Lumber Street Stocks all the way up to the Maplewood/Irving Oil Late Models. He was a multi-time winner at every step, including the 2004 Memorial Day Classic, which is consider one the best races in Thunder Road’s 59-year history.
But Becker’s contributions have gone beyond the driver’s seat. Since stepping away from full-time competition in early 2014, he has been the crew chief for Scott Dragon and Richard Green Racing. The team recently won its second “King of the Road” title under his guidance. Becker has also helped countless racing newcomers and veterans alike as they tackle the high banks.
Becker stated that it was a great honor to be recognized by Speedway Illustrated and that he was humbled to receive such an award. Frederickson added that Becker is the fourth person with an extensive Thunder Road/ACT background to be awarded one of the rare coins.