NEWARK, Ohio – James Franklin “Jim” Coyle, among the most prolific and winningest team owners in ARCA Racing Series history, passed away at his home in Newark, Ohio, on March 11.
He was 89 years old.
Coyle’s trademark bright orange No. 1 Riverside Auto Parts cars were sought out by the best drivers in the ARCA series in the 1970s and ’80s and were both recognizable and formidable.
He won ARCA car owner titles in 1978-79 with Marvin Smith, and in 1985-86 with Lee Raymond at the wheel.
Coyle’s cars, fielded out of shops in Ohio, won dozens of races, many crew chiefed by legendary Ohio mechanic Jerry Gara. The majority of Marvin Smith and Lee Raymond’s combined 28 career ARCA series victories came in cars fielded by Coyle, whose racing endeavors were supported by his wife, Mildred “Millie” Coyle, and brother, Don Coyle.
He graduated from Newark High School in 1949 and from Denison University in 1953. He was a veteran of the United States Army and his career profession was as the highly successful owner of Riverside Auto Parts. He was on the State of Ohio Board of Licensing Salvage Dealers for 25 years, serving as President for many of those years.