The man considered the Pocono Raceway patriarch, Dr. Joseph Mattioli, died Thursday at Lehigh Valley Hospital surrounded by his family following a long illness.
He was 86.
Mattioli, better known as “Doc” to friends and associates, is best known for founding Pocono Raceway in the early 1970s.
Under the leadership of Dr. Mattioli, Pocono Raceway hosted 68 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events.
Raceway officials said he was one of the most respected and admired men in automobile racing.
Community members back that up.
“He’s such a great man. He’s done so much for Long Pond, the people around the area. He’s going to be well missed. I’m going to miss him very much,” said Robert Bashore of Pocono Mountain Regional Police Department.
“It totally blew me away. I had no idea he was that bad. I really feel bad for the family. I know the community is going to lose a lot because he put so much into the general public,” said Juliann Kuhl of Pocono lake.
“He was a nice man. He donated a lot to the school district. He loved children, he loved his grandchildren,” said Nora Yerk of Long Pond.
In a statement, Monroe County Commissioner Suzanne McCool said, “He was an institution here. The Mattiolis have done so much for this community and he was loved by everyone. He invested so much in the community, not just his riches but more, his love of the Poconos. We have all benefited from it. He will be surly missed. My heart goes out to the entire family.”
Funeral arrangements for Doc Mattioli have not yet been finalized.