Gerald L. Stover
Gerald L. Stover of Spring Hill, FL, formerly of Brownstown and Albrightsville, PA, passed away at his home Sunday, June 16, 2013, a day before his 77th birthday.
Born in New Holland, PA, the son of B. Sylvester and Gertrude (Weaver) Stover, he was devoted to his wife of 50 years, Gladys (Cunningham) Stover, and daughters, Lisa M. (Capt. David) Smith, Naples, Italy, and Linda L. Stover (fiancée of Kevin Shaffer), Laurel, MD; his grandchildren, Malena, Aubrey and Michael Smith and Emily Mora. He is survived by his brothers, Leonard and Jay Stover, and sister, Lucille Simmons. He was pre-deceased by a brother, Alfred, and sisters, Dorothy Stover and Evelyn Stone.
A graduate of Upper Leacock High School, he served as an MP in the U.S. Army at West Point Military Academy from 1959 to 1962. He worked as an auto mechanic at Ed Fisher’s Lancaster Nissan.
He is best known in the world of Auto Racing as Jerry or Smokey Stover. He started with drag racing his favorite Triumph Motorcycle at the Maple Grove drag strip (top eliminator) and Lancaster Dragway. He then joined the Lanco Micro-Midget Racing Club and, in partnership with Bob “Shorty” Howe, built several micros and captured the 1964 open class championship. From there, he went on to race TQ midgets, full midgets and sprint cars. Some of his car owners were Leigh Earnshaw, Sr., Stan Bronowski, Joe DeVine, Bob Hanrahan and Henry Kramer. While driving the Mike Sheehan Sesco midget, he set a 50-lap speed record at Wall Stadium, Wall, NJ, which he still holds today, and debuted the first winged midget race car at Islip Speedway, Long Island, NY. He built his own Datsun- powered mini-stock before retiring from racing and raced with the AMSA club. Other clubs were ATQMRA, ARDC, UMRA, NEMA, URC and USAC. He competed at over 80 tracks in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Southern states, always with his wife and children as traveling companions.