Bill Yoder Given Lifetime Achievement Award for Coverage of Auto Racing

Apr 10, 2019
Source: Facebook Bill Yoder

 

Bill Yoder, a Little Egg Harbor resident and before that a longtime resident of Long Beach Island, was recently honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Garden State Vintage Stock Car Club.

The club was formed in 1991 with the purpose of preserving the long and ongoing racing history of the Wall Stadium Speedway in particular as well as the history of auto racing in New Jersey in general. Its mission is to honor those who have contributed to Garden State auto racing on both dirt and paved speedways from the 1940s to the present era.

Yoder was honored at the club’s 28th annual banquet on March 24 at the Branches banquet hall in West Long Branch.

According to Earl Krause, the board of directors adviser for the club, Yoder has been involved in local and national auto racing his entire life. But he wasn’t a driver or even a mechanic, but an auto racing journalist.

“In the 1940s, Bill’s father, Howard, owned four newspapers in the Philadelphia suburbs,” Krause said. “Bill worked there, learning every aspect of writing and photography. He also attended his first race in that era, at the near-to-home, already legendary, Langhorne Speedway in Pennsylvania.”

That trip to Langhorne launched Yoder’s seven-decade career in racing.

For over 40 years Yoder was a staff member for the Trenton-based Auto Racing News. Even more impressively, he covered the Indianapolis 500 as a media photographer for 60 years.

His pictures have been published in national publications such as Illustrated Speedway News, the National Speed Sport News and the Tri-State Speed Press.

Yoder was one of the earliest members of the Eastern Motorsport Press Association and served as its treasurer from 1980 through 2011 and was previously honored with EMPA Ace Lane Sr. Memorial Awards for Excellence in Racing Photography and Jerry Glase Awards for Behind the Scenes Support of EMPA. He’s been a member of the American Auto Racing Writers & Broadcasting Association since 1960 and was on the board of directors of the former International Racing Fan Club. He is also a lifetime member of the Indianapolis 500 Old Timers Club and the Checkered Flag Fan Club.

Yoder has been busy locally as well. He’s a lifetime member of the Long Beach Island Historical Association and has been an active supporter of Surflight Theatre for years. When he lived on the Island he used to host an annual summer barbecue for Surflight cast members. Surflight fans know his face – he’s served as a regular volunteer usher at the Beach Haven landmark for decades.

“There were 300 people at that awards ceremony,” he said after receiving his Lifetime Achievement Award. “I never thought something like that would happen to me.”

— Rick Mellerup

rickmellerup@thesandpaper.net

 

 

 

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