Joanie grew up in Northern New Jersey and the Jersey Shore spending time at her racing family’s Sunoco European Car/Repair service station getting full of grease. Her uncle was a national outboard boat racing champion and her father a Ford Motor Co Supervisor and she toured the assembly plant a few times.
When she was 5 years old she thought she could drive. She released the emergency brake and the car rolled down the incline and her father jumped in and saved her from reaching oncoming traffic.
When Joanie was 8 she was the first female contestant in the Louis Lombardo Post AMVETS Soap Box Derby. According to the newspaper article detailing her accomplishment, she entered the race because she admired the boy across the street, the previous year’s winner, and because the boy next door had been taunting her over the contest. The boy next door and Joanie were in the same division and she is quoted in the article that she “would very much like to beat him”.
She went on to be the first girl to win the title/trophies for three years straight which caused her mother to worry that the hill was steep and fast and that Joanie had caught racing fever.
In high school and beyond her friends cheered her on at the Great Meadows NJ drag strip where she won numerous trophies in the Stock Automatic class.
Joanie is a genuine race fan and has lived a kid’s dream of attending modified, dirt track and many NASCAR race tracks on the east coast.
The last few years Joanie has been having fun with her best high school friends at their New Jersey Chevy Car Club show. It’s a three day event with a banquet held at the Wildwood New Jersey boardwalk next to the ocean.
Joanie’s interests include everything related to cars, sports (especially NASCAR), Battle Bots, arts & music, American and Ancient history, aviation, the Arizona Humane Society, the ocean and Shark Week.
When Joanie got her driver’s license her dad let her drive his 56 T Bird. She told her friends not to tell him she burned off his tires. Her favorite song is Fun Fun Fun by the Beach Boys that include these famous lyrics “And she’ll have fun fun fun ‘Til her daddy takes the T-bird away”.
One of Joanie’s first cars was a Volkswagen Beetle that had a few issues. The floorboards were so rusted that water would come into the car when the streets were wet and it didn’t have any brakes. She would also park it facing down so if it wouldn’t start she let it coast down the hill and pop the clutch to get it running.
Joanie currently has a 2005 Thunderbird that she bought in honor of her parents and her daily driver is a 14 Mustang. Over the years she has had fun with Mustangs, Camaro’s and a Mazda RX 7 striped by the Penske Team with Gotti wheels.
Joanie is almost an Arizona native having lived here for 30 years. She worked for the government in law enforcement as well as a company manager and moved to Estrella when she retired six years ago.
Joanie is an enthusiastic member of the club and has shared her time and talent on many of the club’s events and served as the club’s Secretary. She has enjoyed being part of the club’s team that put on the Cruiz’n To The Lakes Car Shows and is proud of the club’s efforts to help the West-MEC students and believes that our members work hard to make our club enjoyable and grow.