50 Greatest Modified Drivers – Pete Corey 1929-2000
“New York Invader”
Pete Corey, from Cresent, New York, which is just north of Albany, was a regular at Stafford Motor Speedway during the NASCAR sanctioned dirt years from 1959 to 1966. Although he never won a track Championship at Stafford, his many wins and spectacular driving endeared him to the fans at Stafford Motor Speedway every Friday night.
Stafford was a regular stop for the New Yorker every week as Corey raced against the likes of Kenny Shoemaker, Jeep Herbert, Bill Wimble, and Steve Danish. Corey, for the most part, drove a 1937 Chevy coupe, but also was one of the first to use late model bodyskin as he adopted a Studebaker body to fit his 1953 chassis.
Corey, who began racing in the early 1950s, first gained national prominence in 1955 when he won the Annual Race of Champions which was then held at the one-mile circle in Langhorne, Pennsylvania.
Racing was both good and bad for Pete Corey. During his long career he won two track Championships at his home track at Fonda, New York. At Fonda he had close to 200 lifetime victories. He also won at Lebanon Valley, Flemington, New Jersey, and at Morristown, New Jersey. During the prime of his career, he had the misfortune of having a leg severed, but that didn’t stop him. He was able to make a come back and raced with an artificial limb.
During the high point in his racing career, when many racers were changing over to running on asphalt, Corey raced a few times at Albany-Saratoga and Thompson, but the desire to win had left him. He retired from racing in the late 1960s.
Pete Corey is now remembered in the Fifty Gretaest Drivers of All-time as voted by the public as part of the Stafford Salutes NASCAR at 50 program and will always be remembered by those who got to see him race.
By: Phil Smith