Magielda’s hall of fame racing career went by fast – New York News

Just when you think you know everything, you learn something new.


I was reading through the list of names of the people who are going to be inducted into the Fonda Speedway Hall of Fame Saturday afternoon, and saw a lot of people I had crossed paths with, including former drivers, car owners, sponsors and track personnel.

And one Jim Magielda.

So I continued to read the press release, which included one-paragraphs recaps of each inductee’s career.

Nothing on Jim Magielda.

So I hauled out my copy of “FONDA!,” the comprehensive history of the speedway written by Lou Boyd and my high school classmate, Andy Fusco.

Nothing on Jim Magielda.

I did a quick search and found a Jim Magielda in Broadalbin, so I gave him a call.

In all honesty, I thought I was looking for information on a Jim Magielda Sr., who, as far as I knew, might have been a pioneer of the speedway back in the 1950s.

Nope. When I got a return phone call, it was Jim Magielda, the one living in Broadalbin. He’s the one going into the Hall of Fame, not his father, Joseph (who was known as Jim), who died in 2001.

Magielda, 66, who still runs his own sand and gravel bus­iness in Broadalbin, was a car owner. He tried driving once, but as he tells it, “I put a hole in the fence at Fonda . . . a big hole.

“I was always the guy in the background covered in grease and oil. I just found that I liked building and fixing more than driving.”

His hall of fame career lasted five years. He and John Constantino, who had been friends since childhood, built a late model together in the winter of 1974-75, but that relationship didn’t…

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