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Joie Chitwood also operated the “Joie Chitwood Thrill Show”, an exhibition of auto stunt driving that became so successful he gave up racing. Often called “Hell Drivers,” he had five units that for more than forty years toured across North America thrilling audiences in large and small towns alike with their death-defying automobile stunts.
His show was so popular, that in January 1967, the performance at the Islip Speedway, New York was broadcast on ABC television’s Wide World of Sports.
On May 13, 1978, Joie Chitwood Jr.(b. Aug. 31, 1943) set a world record when he drove a Chevrolet Chevette for 5.6 miles (9.0 km) on just 2 wheels. His sons, Joie Jr. and Tim both joined the auto thrill show and continued to run the “Joie Chitwood Chevy Thunder Show” after their father’s retirement. His grandson, Joie Chitwood III, is the President of Daytona International Speedway and a former president of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The show was featured during season 3 of CHiPs in an episode entitled “Thrill Show”. Joie Jr. did stunts for “Miami Vice” on several occasions.
Chitwood’s show was credited by Evel Knievel as being his inspiration to become a daredevil when his show appeared in his home town of Butte, Montana.