Born in Nebraska, Joe Saldana started racing stock cars in 1961 at the age of 17.
He won his first race in 1964 and the victories continued for 20 years.
Saldana’s signature victory came when he won the Knoxville Nationals in 1970 and also claimed the Knoxville (Iowa) Raceway track championship that season.
He won eight USAC sprint car features and counted the Hoosier Hundred and the Tony Hulman Classic among his victories.
Saldana was inducted into the Nebraska Auto Racing Hall of Fame in 1998 and the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame in 2000. His son, Joey, entered the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame earlier this year.
This story appeared in the Aug. 16 edition of the SPEED SPORT Insider.