Mattioli had been battling a lengthy illness, and had in the past year stepped aside from the day-to-day role of running the racing facility he created. Thursday, surrounded by his friends and family, Doc Mattioli lost his battle. He was 86.
The news came Thursday afternoon, as NASCAR's Brian France and Mike Helton were wrapping up a media question and answer session.
"The entire NASCAR family is saddened by the loss of a true icon in our sport, Dr. Joe Mattioli," France said in a statement. "Doc’s relationship with my family reaches three generations, all the way back to my grandfather. His passion for the sport will live on in the hearts of his family and our fans. His contributions to our sport are wide-spread. We have lost a great leader – and a great person. NASCAR offers its deepest condolences to his wife Rose and the entire Mattioli family."