Long-time Stevenson Motorsports team owner Johnny Stevenson died Monday in North Carolina. Stevenson and wife Susan were honored and given lifetime paddock passes to IMSA races and artwork to honor a racing career at the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship banquet and awards night in Braselton, Ga., just one week ago.
Stevenson’s team debuted in 2003, winning a total of 33 races across Grand-Am and IMSA competition. The team also won the North American Endurance Cup in 2013 and the 2015 Continental Tire Challenge Grand Sport (GS) title.
A Stevenson Motorsports spokesperson confirmed the death in a phone call to IMSA president Scott Atherton on Monday.
“Everyone in the IMSA family is shocked and saddened to hear the news of Johnny’s passing,” Atherton said in a press release on Monday night. “Johnny led a fantastic race team for many years, and he will be missed in the IMSA paddock. Our thoughts, prayers and deepest condolences go out to his wife, Susan, and the rest of the Stevenson family.”
In a published report on Kinston.com. Jacksonville, Fla., police reportedly responded to Stevenson Toyota Monday morning where they found a 69-year-old man dead, according to Beth M. Purcell, media liaison with the Jacksonville Department of Public Safety.
The report said that Stevenson Toyota is the flagship dealership within the Stevenson Automotive Group, established in 1983 with stores in Jacksonville, Wilmington and Swansboro, North Carolina.
The team’s final race with the No. 57 Audi R8 LMS was the season-ending Petit Le Mans 10 Hours at Road Atlanta in October.
“After 15 years of racing professionally, the difficult decision to remove ourselves from motorsports competition is nothing less than heartfelt,” said team owner Johnny Stevenson in a statement on Sept. 3. “We regret to inform you all that we are ceasing racing operations following the close of the 2017 season in all classes and series.”
“But, we find it is time to move on. We thank you for all your friendships, respect, help, and of course the successful competition you all have provided throughout those years. We will miss you all at the track. Hopefully we can finish on a real high note at Road Atlanta.”
Mike Pryson – Mike Pryson covered auto racing for the Jackson (Mich.) Citizen Patriot and M-Live Media Group from 1991 until joining Autoweek as online motorsports editor In 2012. Promoted to motorsports editor in 2015.