There are so many people that I have had the pleasure to write about. Even though I don’t really think about them all that much after writing about them, I still enjoy the process of learning what I can about the live they have lived and the career that they have taken. There are so many ways for our lives to go. But it’s nice to know that there are people who, despite the circumstances that they grew up in, have managed to find success in whatever field they chose.
Sometimes there are times when a person would pursue to continue the family business. If you grew up seeing the process that not many people see that often, you would probably get tired of it at some point. You would pursue a career that’s worlds apart of what you grew up in just so that you find something that’s not tied down to what your family has been doing for years. But you are one of the only people who knows the process intimately. So you are bound to go back to it one way or another.
It’s just amazing to see certain people continue the legacy that their parents, or even grandparents, started. Not all of the family-owned and -ran companies fare well in modern times. Some manage to adapt to the change while others have not. You don’t really know how long you can manage to keep the essence of the company or the business alive especially if there isn’t a big enough audience for the thing that you are making or doing.
That is sort of what Joie Chitwood III’s claim to fame is. His grandfather, and his namesake, Joie Chitwood Sr. was a racecar driver in the early 1930s until the early 1950s. In 1942, his grandfather started the Joie Chitwood Thrill Show, which is exactly what you think it is. It’s stunt-driven show that featured him and and his sons Joie Jr. and Tim doing stunts with racecars all across America. If you know stunt performer Evel Knievel, Joie Chitwood was his inspiration for doing stunts. Even Joie III’s grandfather retired from doing stunt driving so his dad and uncle ran the show since then. Though I don’t think there have been any recent shows under that name.
Since Joie grew up around racecars and stunt drivers, it sort of made sense that he would continue working in the industry even though the stunt show that his grandfather started is no longer active. He had some experience in stunt driving and precision driving because of being raised in the family business. In college, he pursued a degree in business administration and finance at the University of Florida. Then he earned his masters degree in business administration at the University of South Florida. Somehow those are both different schools.
Even after he graduated from college, the world of racing was still part of his life. In the late ’90s, he served as vice president and general manager of Raceway Associates, LLC where he oversaw construction of the Chicagoland Speedway. After that, he joined the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as senior vice president of business affairs. Slowly, he grew in the ranks of the company eventually becoming president and chief operating officer. He eventually went on to join the International Speedway Corporation in 2009 as vice president of operations.
There isn’t really much else I could find about Joie Chitwood after that. He definitely seems to be good at his job because gets promoted every few years. You never really know where your life is going to put you. It’s insane how much of his initial professional corporate career has been with companies that handle racetracks all across America and the world. It seems that after he worked for ISC, he went on to become vice president of corporate development at the Arnold Palmer Group.
It seems that he still is serving as part of the corporate chain at the Arnold Palmer Group, which is a departure from his decades of working in the racecar driving and speedway industry. I guess companies that started within a single sport would grow into a multi-million dollar company that goes beyond the sport. At this point, Joie Chitwood III has a net worth of $50,000,000.
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