Dr. Rose Mattioli, co-founder of Pocono Raceway, dies at 92

Dr. Rose Mattioli, co-founder of Pocono Raceway and matriarch of the Mattioli family, died Monday, June 29, 2020. She was 92.

Dr. Rose Mattioli, co-founder of Pocono Raceway, dies at 92
Pocono atmosphere
A general view of the start
Pocono Raceway entry sign, atmosphere
Adam Petty garage
Chase Briscoe, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Mustang Highpoint.com
Matt DiBenedetto, Wood Brothers Racing, Ford Mustang Motorcraft/Quick Lane and Darrell Wallace Jr., Richard Petty Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Victory Junction
Brandon Jones, Kyle Busch Motorsports, Toyota Tundra DuPont Air Filtration/Menards

Dr. Rose and her late husband Dr. Joseph ‘Doc’ Mattioli co-founded Pocono in 1968, which remains a family-owned-and-operated business. Dr. Rose and Doc worked side-by-side and, through their tireless passion and commitment, became one of the most admired and loved families in motorsports.

Dr. Rose’s death came one day after Pocono completed the first doubleheader weekend in the NASCAR Cup Series, albeit without fans due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Mattioli and Igdalski families issued the following statement:

“Dr. Rose was the heart and soul of Pocono Raceway for over 50 years. She would often tell us, ‘I love Pocono and auto racing more than Doc,’ and we believed her. While Doc moved the mountains, Rose moved your spirit. Dr. Rose’s contributions to motorsports and her philanthropic efforts will always live in a class of their own. She played a vital role in allowing women into auto racing garage areas during an era where they were otherwise unwelcome.

“Additionally, Dr. Rose and Doc gave back to the community, often anonymously and without hesitation. Her passing has motivated us to remain steadfast, now more than ever, to never waiver from Rose and Doc’s commitment of always doing right by our Pocono Raceway family, our fans, our local community and the auto racing industry. While we will miss her, we take comfort in knowing Rose and Doc are reunited and that their legacy will live on forever.”

Born and raised in Philadelphia, Pa., Rose met Joseph Mattioli while attending Temple University in 1947. The couple secretly eloped one year later and “officially married” in the presence of family and friends, on Aug. 5, 1950.

While celebrating the first birthday of their first child, Looie, and pregnant with their second child, Joseph III, Rose graduated first in her class from Temple’s School of Podiatric Medicine in June of 1952. They welcomed their third child, Michele, in 1955. That same year, Drs. Joseph and Rose opened their dental and podiatric practices in Northeast Philadelphia.

In the mid-1960s, Rose and Doc took on a new business venture in Long Pond, Pa., developing a large acreage of land and helped build Pocono Raceway. The track would host its first major motorsports event in 1971.

NASCAR Chairman Jim France and Lesa Kennedy, executive vice chair of NASCAR, issued the following statement:

“Our family and all of NASCAR is saddened to learn of the passing of Dr. Rose Mattioli. For three generations, the relationship between our families has been more personal than professional. Rose and Doc created a unique racing experience at Pocono Raceway, bringing a passion for race fans and love of racing to everything they touched. On behalf of the France family and the entire motorsports industry, NASCAR extends our deepest condolences to the Mattioli family during this difficult time.”

Services for Dr. Rose will be private. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the charity of the donor’s choosing.

shares
comments
Denny Hamlin is "at the sweet spot of his career" - Gabehart

Previous article

Denny Hamlin is "at the sweet spot of his career" - Gabehart

Next article

Daly, Pagenaud: IndyCar, NASCAR double-header at IMS is “awesome”

Daly, Pagenaud: IndyCar, NASCAR double-header at IMS is “awesome”
Load comments
From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview Prime

From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview

The death of Dale Earnhardt in the 2001 Daytona 500 shocked NASCAR to the core. At the Daytona 24 Hours, two weeks before his fatal accident, ‘The Intimidator’ shared his expectations of challenging for an eighth Cup title with JONATHAN INGRAM, in an article first published in the 15 February 2001 issue of Autosport magazine. Little did we know then what tragedy would unfold…

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death Prime

The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death

On February 18, 2001, seven-time NASCAR Cup champion Dale Earnhardt – the fearless ‘Intimidator’ – was in his element at Daytona International Speedway. While his own DEI team’s cars ran 1-2 towards the finish line, his famed #3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo was playing rear gunner to block any late runs from the chasing pack. As the cars tore through Turns 3 and 4 on that fateful final lap, Earnhardt maintained the strongarm tactics that encapsulated his persona… but his actions in those moments sadly proved to be his last.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR Prime

Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR

The NASCAR Cup Series is changing. Whether it be the gradual morphing out the seasoned drivers of yesterday as the next generation step up, a radical calendar shake-up featuring more road courses than ever before and the prospect of an all-new car on the horizon, stock car racing’s highest level is nearing the end of a huge facelift.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 16, 2021
The NASCAR storylines to watch out for in 2021 Prime

The NASCAR storylines to watch out for in 2021

This weekend's Daytona 500 kickstarts a NASCAR Cup season that promises plenty of intrigue courtesy of new owners and a refreshed calendar. Here's what you need to know ahead of the new season…

NASCAR Cup
Feb 13, 2021
Why Kyle Larson can't blow his big shot at redemption Prime

Why Kyle Larson can't blow his big shot at redemption

From a disgraced NASCAR exile, Kyle Larson has been given a chance of redemption by the powerhouse Hendrick Motorsports squad. Effectively replacing seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson is no easy billing, but Larson has every intention of repaying the team's faith...

NASCAR Cup
Feb 11, 2021
Why Roger Penske is an American motorsport icon Prime

Why Roger Penske is an American motorsport icon

In this exclusive one-on-one interview, Roger Penske reveals the inner drive that has made him not only a hugely successful team owner and businessman but also the owner of Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IndyCar. He spoke to David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Dec 28, 2020
Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started Prime

Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started

Chase Elliott's late charge to the 2020 NASCAR Cup title defied predictions that it would be a Kevin Harvick versus Denny Hamlin showdown. While the two veterans are showing no signs of slowing down, Elliott's triumph was a window into NASCAR's future…

NASCAR Cup
Nov 18, 2020
Why Kyle Larson deserves his second chance in a cancel culture Prime

Why Kyle Larson deserves his second chance in a cancel culture

“You can’t hear me? Hey n*****” Those fateful words uttered by Kyle Larson, spoken into his esports headset on April 12, were directed at his sim racing spotter – but instead they quickly became amplified around the world via social media, including his own Twitch stream.

NASCAR Cup
Oct 29, 2020