Our Friend, George Koyt Passes
George Koyt (left) with Modified and Winston Cup driver Tighe Scott looking at photos from George's collection of the many cars Tighe had driven throughout his career in this 2008 photo from New Egypt Speedway.
We received word on Thanksgiving Day that George Koyt has passed away.
George was the biggest race fan I know. Years ago, he and his wife (of 42 years) had traveled the country visiting speedways in almost every state. In more recent years, George had attended races at Middletown, Grandview, Selingsgrove, and Bridgeport, but had made New Egypt Speedway his Saturday Night home.
Those of you who visited "The Vault" at New Egypt Speedway know George as the fellow who helped set up the tables, and put out our display items, and then would help people throughout the night find whatever they were in search of...
George became the "curator" for The Vault at New Egypt Speedway (above) and fans of all ages were grateful to have the opportunity to look through his blue binders (on tables) full of photos from the many speedways that he and his wife had visited thoughout the 70's & 80's
George had organized all of his personal photos that he had shot (mostly from the fans perspective) in blue binders. They included photos from the many racetracks visited through the years - Flemington, Harmony, East Windsor, Middletown, Bridgeport, Reading, Nazareth, Dorney Park.. and more. We can't begin to count the amount of people that enjoyed looking through George's photos.
Many people would ask him if his photos were for sale to which he'd reply "no", but would often tell the person to stop back next week. George would then make a copy of his original photo and provide it for free the following week to the person that had shown particular interest in a certain car or driver... They'd ask, "What do I owe you?"... to which would just would smile, and kinda shake his head and say "nothing."...
He did it because he knew that photo was making somebody happy. That was George.
George grew up in the Hope, NJ area and had served our country in the armed forces at which time he worked on jet engines. He used that training and his love for "Hot Rods" and became a long time Automotive Mechanic in the Langhorne PA area. George had recently retired from McCafferty Ford (Langhorne PA) a few years ago.
George (2nd from right with his red "Selinsgrove Speedway jacket) and the rest of us pose for a photo at the site of the former Alcyon Speedway with John Seyler (far left) and Russ Dodge (left) and me (far right).
George and Jesse
In March of this year, George, my son Jesse and I, along with Racing Historians Russ Dodge and John Seyler made a "South Jersey Lost Speedway's Trip" and before the day was over, we had walked the surface of Vineland and Atco Speedways, and stood on the former site of the Alcyon Speedway in Pitman, NJ. I know that it was a favorite day of George's and we planned on getting out to some other "lost speedways" in the future.
Most recently, George was working on some ideas for "The Vault" at New Egypt Speedway, including building a shelf that would accommodate a larger TV for fans to enjoy watching the old racing films. George and I had also recently attended The Pumpkin Run, The FSHS Movie Event and we had made plans to attend this year's Turkey Derby... On our way home from the movie event last Saturday, George said. "I'll have to stop by The Vault and get the blankets for us to sit on at Wall... It might be a cold one"...
...You were right George.
We'll save a seat for you.
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