Longtime local auto racing stalwart James Stovall, 77, passed away Saturday night after a long illness. The owner of Stovall Racing Enterprises, his teams won numerous track titles at both Avilla and Baer Field speedways. He was a charter member of the Baer Field Hall of Fame in 1993 after being inducted into the Avilla Hall of Fame in 1992. Sons Jimmy and Scott were also inducted into the Baer Field Hall of Fame in 2008 and 2009.
He was perhaps best known as the car owner for two of the area's top all-time drivers, Conan ``Moose'' Myers and Scott Stovall. Myers won the American Speed Association championship in 1975 and the ARCA championship in 1977. Scott Stovall drove to the ARCA championship in 1982.
Jim Stovall fielded maroon No. 0 race cars dubbed "Louise Special" in honor of his wife who won many Powder Puff races and was always very involved in her husband's racing activities. Jim Stovall's cars were a familiar sight at hundreds of major late-model races throughout the Midwest for more than three decades.
Stovall was a self-employed general contractor and car dealer for 30 years before he retired in 1990. He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Louise.
A memorial service will be held at 3p.m., Thursday at D.O. McComb and Sons Lakeside Park Funeral Home, 1140 Lake Ave., with calling one hour prior.