“From The Inception Of The Track To Now: Getting to Know, George Ewald”
Edited by: Chrissi Wolosz – Coordinator, Marketing Communications
Pocono Raceway (September 1, 2020) – George was born and raised in Connecticut where he worked training quarter horses during high school. After high school he moved to Florida to go to college and continue training and showing quarter horses. Eventually he made the move to Pennsylvania, working at Pocono Farms training and showing horses throughout the country. He was asked to help during the fall/winter season at Pocono Raceway starting in October 1970. Now with an extensive work history at the track, George says, “as they say, the rest is history.”
George is Vice President and Track Superintendent of Pocono Raceway. With his five-decade long career at the track, his most memorable event is the first-ever INDY race held at Pocono Raceway, the ‘Schaefer 500’ race in 1971. This was a monumental year for Pocono Raceway and George was a part of the inception of INDY and later NASCAR coming to the track. He has worked here ever since. In October of this year, 2020, George Ewald will be celebrating his 50-year anniversary working full time at Pocono Raceway. He is the longest standing staff member, aside from the Mattioli family members themselves. In an article written by the Allentown Call Chronicle in 1979, George says “My job ranges from making sure there is enough toilet paper to running of the race…” and to this day he runs all of the maintenance and construction on/at/of the track as if it is his own. From the same article he mentions, “the place turns into a city for 12 hours, and then everyone’s gone.” This still holds true to the present times, when thousands of fans, campers, safety personnel, NASCAR teams and many more people attend race event weekends. Pocono Raceway becomes the third largest city in Pennsylvania for a NASCAR race event weekend.
Outside of racing but not outside the life at the track, George vividly remembers Concert 10. Concert 10 was a rock concert held at Pocono Raceway in July of 1972. Concert 10 included bands and artists such as Black Sabbath, Emerson Lake & Palmer, The Faces with Rod Stewart, Three Dog Night, Joan Jett and many more. With it being only his second year working at the track, there were more stories to be made. The late Dr. Joseph ‘Doc’ Mattioli and George Ewald grew their friendship. On multiple occasions Doc and George would go on boating trips on the Inner Coastal Waterway, sometimes for weeks. From the beginning of the George’s working experience, he enjoyed knowing the family, their business operations and would take care of it for many years to come.
Since his start at the track, he has called Long Pond, PA home for almost 50 years, but he has not done it alone. His wife of over 45+ years, Maryellyn, works at Pocono Raceway as Executive Secretary. Together, the Ewald family enjoys creating their own memories outside of the track. Their greatest pleasure has been travelling the world together with their favorite destinations having been Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Spain, Cuba, Hawaii, Alaska and many islands in the Caribbean. Reminiscing on their trips, the Ewald’s said “every trip and cruise has been memorable and exciting.” Their two daughters, two sons-in-law and four grandchildren give them every more reason to travel. One family resides in Philadelphia while the other is in Sydney, Australia. Their children have ventured into their own paths while George and Maryellyn continue to enjoy their strong friendship with all of Mattioli family and this community.
George has been an active part in the community for his whole residency in the area. If you are not already impressed with his devotion to his on-going career at the track, he has done much more:
- Current elected Tunkhannock Township Supervisor in his second term
- Pennsylvania State Forest Fire Warden
- Life Member of local Tunkhannock Township Volunteer Fire Company for 48 years
- Member of the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR)
- Former Pennsylvania Sewage Enforcement Officer
- Former coach for Girls T-ball and Softball Girls Little League
Having lived in the Pocono Mountains for almost 50 years, George finds this area to be “laid-back and quiet.” Although times have changed in the Pocono Mountains, George says his home “still is peaceful”.