Kalamazoo, Michigan: James Stanley "Jim" Gilmore, Jr., Championship car sponsor, Kalamazoo businessman, and public servant was killed early Sunday afternoon in a freak traffic accident.

Gilmore, 74, was pronounced dead at the scene. He and a passenger were returning from shopping when Gilmore hit a patch of ice and lost control of his 2000 Nissan Frontier pickup truck.

The truck skidded into some deep snow, flipped on to the drivers side, and to continued to slide into a fence. Sheriff deputies said that snow poured into the driver's side window and sunroof. Fire and rescue from Comstock Township had to dig Gilmore's body out of the snow.

Gilmore sponsored Championship race cars from 1967-1990, most notably for A. J. Foyt. He sponsored Gordon Johncock from 1967 to 1970 in the Gilmore Broadcasting Specials. In 1970, he raced two cars, one with Johncock, the other with Jack Brabham. In 1971, Mel Kenyon, Art Pollard and Jimmy Caruthers raced under the Gilmore banner. Mel Kenyon returned in 1972 along with Wally Dallenbach and Lee Kunzman.

In 1973, Gilmore began his relationship with A.J. Foyt. This pairing lasted until Gilmore retired from sponsorship in 1990.

Gilmore sponsored cars won a total of thirty races.

One of the grand men of racing has now departed. He will be missed.

Services are being handled by Langeland Family Funeral Home, where visitation will take place from 4-7 p.m. Wednesday. The funeral home address is 622 S. Burdick St., Kalamazoo, MI 49007. The funeral will be conducted at 1 p.m. Thursday in St. Luke's Episcopal Church, 247 Lovell St., Kalamazoo, MI 49007

Memorials and cards may be sent to:

Jim Gilmore Foundation
162 E. Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo, MI 49007

--Jack Durbin - Motorsport.com