LITTLE EGG HARBOR, N.J. — Bill Yoder, a racing photographer, journalist, official and goodwill ambassador of the sport for some 70 years, died on April 5.
Yoder was involved in local and national racing virtually all his life. Indeed, he literally grew up in the media business, which led him into our sport.
In the 1940s, Bill’s father Howard owned four newspapers in the Philadelphia suburbs. Bill began working there, learning every aspect of writing and photography. He also attended his first race in that era, at near to home, already legendary, Langhorne Speedway.
From there, Bill began an ongoing seven decade “life in racing.”
That included being a staff member with Area Auto Racing News and attending the Indianapolis 500 as a photographer for 60 years.
He also had pictures in Illustrated Speedway News, National Speed Sport News and Tri-State Speed Press. He was honored with lifetime memberships of the Indianapolis 500 Old Timers Club, Checkered Flag Fan Club and Long Beach Island (N.J.) Historical Association; and in 1970 received “The Key to Grandview (Pa.) Speedway” for his support of its promoting Rogers family and racers.
One of the earliest members of the Eastern Motorsport Press Association, Yoder served as its treasurer from 1980 to 2011 and was presented with EMPA memorial awards named for Ace Lane Sr. (excellence in racing photography) and Jerry Glase (behind the scenes support of the organization). Yoder was a member of the American Auto Racing Writers & Broadcasters Association since 1960; and was on the Board of Directors of the former International Racing Fan Club.
He also promoted drag racing at Pennsylvania’s Hatfield Speedway.
In March 2019, Bill was presented with the Lifetime Achievement in Auto Racing award from New Jersey’s Garden State Vintage Stock Car Club.