The late Chauncey "Jocko" Maggiacomo won
the first race he started, driving a motorcycle in Milbrook, N.Y.,
in 1931. In 1937, he drove his first midget, then switched to stock
cars when he returned from serving in World War II. Jocko was so
successful that in 1948, his first year back to racing, he won over
In the 1930’s racers had few of
the safety features available for today’s stock cars. In a NEARNEWS
interview in 1995, Jocko recalled strapping into his racer with an
extra wide leather belt, while wearing a leather helmet that
“wouldn’t do much more than hold my hair in place.” Finding that
milk delivery tires were more durable than standard passenger tires,
Jocko ran them until tires were made specifically for racing
Jocko was equally successful on
both dirt and asphalt. He achieved great success on the 1/5 mile
asphalt bull ring at Riverside Park Speedway where he was an early
winner. He is credited with winning 31 Saturday night features and
three championships in 1952, 53, and 55.
He was also very successful in the
late model Grand American division of Harvey Tattersall’s United
Stock Car Racing Club. Most of his wins came while driving cars
owned by Gordon Ross, Bob Oliver, and the Garuti bros.
He retired as a driver after
competing in the 1965 Riverside Park 500 lap race.
He remained active as developer of
modern racing safety features. He died of natural causes in 1998.