He was one of the first Americans to win International standing.
Joseph “Joe” Tracy was born on March 22, 1873 in Waterford, Ireland. At the age of 18, Joe emigrated to the United States and became an American citizen.
He “acquired the foundation of his mechanical knowledge through serving as an apprentice in British railroad engine shops. In 1898 when employed as engineer and machinist in an apartment house in New York city he built his first gasoline motor”.
One day he was driving his motor bicycle when he saw his first motor car. It was at that moment he became interest in working with cars. Soon after that he applied as an automobile mechanic and eventually developed a reputation as a good mechanic by wealthy customers. He branched out by teaching his customers how to maintain and drive their automobiles.
In 1904 Tracy overhauled the Mooers’ Gordon Bennett Peerless racer. In September, 1904 he piloted W. Gould Brokaw’s middle weight 30 hp Renault.
In 1905 he drove dr Harold E. Thomas’ 80-horsepower Locomobile at the Gordon Bennett Cup.
Joe Tracy’s greatest racing successes were driving Locomobiles at the Vanderbilt Cup Races held on Long Island. He was the only driver to particpate in the first five races associated with this historic series (1904 Vanderbilt Cup Race, the 1905 American Elimination Race, the 1905 Vanderbilt Cup Race, the 1906 American Elimination Race, and the 1906 Vanderbilt Cup Race). His best results were third place in the 1905 Vanderbilt Cup Race and first place in the 1906 American Elimination Race. In all five races, Al Poole drove along side Tracy as the mechanician.
After 1906, Tracy retired from racing and became a consulting engineer for the automotive industry.
He died in 1959, aged 86. According to his obituary “in recent years he had scouted and rebuilt antique cars for collectors. He still drove his 1906 Locomobile in club events”.
Motor Age, 6 July, 1905