Stanley Smith was born September 29th 1949 in Birmingham, AL and passed away at his home in Birmingham on December 9th 2020. He was diagnosed with interstitial pneumonia a respiratory disease in September 2020 that ultimately led to the cause of his death.
Stanley Smith was a driven, self-made, and very successful man. His father was a lifelong employee of TCI/US Steel and Stanley followed him into this field for a very short time. He said "working in a steel mill was not something I wanted to do". Stanley soon began working with a friend as an apprentice drywall finisher. He found a passion for this and started Stanley Smith Drywall in 1970. He focused on residential home construction but quickly realized there was a niche market that was beginning to thrive in multi-family apartment construction. By the late 1980’s Stanley focused solely on apartment and student housing projects. Stanley Smith Drywall grew tremendously while working on projects in more than fifteen states across the country. The drywall business afforded him the opportunity to begin stock car racing in 1972.
As a young boy his uncle introduced him to racing as a spectator at the Fairgrounds Speedway (BIR) in Birmingham, AL. Stanley achieved much success at the short track level throughout the Southeast. In 1989 he was the NASCAR All-American Challenge Series champion winning several races along the way. This success led him to achieve his ultimate goal of the NASCAR Winston Cup Series in 1990 where he qualified 12th at Talladega Superspeedway in his first start. Stanley won his first start in the ARCA Series at Michigan International Speedway in 1991. Stanley would continue racing a partial NASCAR Cup schedule until 1993 when he suffered a critical injury at Talladega on July 25th. Stanley was hospitalized forty days with head trauma that included a basilar skull fracture and torn left carotid artery. After a long rehabilitation Stanley returned to short track racing a few years later with success. He won the Snowflake 100 at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, FL in 2000 and the NASCAR All-Pro Series race at Kentucky Speedway in 2004.