PHOENIX – Steve Stroud, the founder of the Arizona Open Wheel Racing Museum and a long time supporter of sprint car and midget racing, has died.

Stroud, originally from Southern California, was a well-known, key figure in multiple Phoenix businesses. In the late 70s, he was drawn to Arizona to watch Ron Shuman and Lealand McSpadden race at Manzanita Speedway. He became an avid racing enthusiast and has maintained constant contact with the Valley’s racing scene.

As a business owner of Lubrication Equipment & Supply and several Parker Store locations, Stroud transformed from spectator to proud team and event sponsor. He continued to build his business presence by launching The Hose Advantage Stores and The Racers Advantage Store.

Stroud later founded the Arizona Open Wheel Racing Museum. The 14,000 square foot showcase is a mecca of open wheel racing memorabilia, pristinely restored race cars and historic artifacts intended to preserve the history and memories of the sport’s legacy over the past 50 years. (See a photo gallery here).

A memorial celebration is being planned, with more information to be announced later.