A local racing legend has died. Donald Eugene “Tubby” Black, 84, died Thursday at Camelot Nursing Center.
Visitation will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. this evening at the Cozean Memorial Chapel and Crematory in Farmington, with Masonic Rites at 7 p.m. Visitation will resume on Tuesday after 11 a.m. and continue until the time of the service at 1 p.m. in the Cozean Chapel. Interment will be in the Parkview Cemetery.
Black, who was first given the nickname “Tubby” in 1949 by Glen Pyatt of Elvins, began racing at a track at Davis Crossing. Over the next six decades he raced at small tracks in Bismarck, Cantwell, Davis Crossing, as well as countless races at St. Francois County Raceway. He visited other tracks in the Midwest over the years, but St. Francois County Raceway was his home track.
During his career, Black was a 17-time track champion at local tracks, including nine consecutive years from 1970 through 1978 at St. Francois County Raceway ... known at the time as Empire Speedway.
Despite starting racing in the 1940s, Black continued to field a car at local races until the past couple years. Younger races volunteered their time to assist the icon with maintenance tasks, at the same time borrowing from his expansive racing knowledge.
Although Black never ran at the relatively-new Doe Run Raceway, on Sept. 21, 2012 the track owners and racers decided to honor the man who inspired so many local drivers and fans. Tubby Black Tribute Night at Doe Run Raceway was held during intermission at the track, with signature Tubby Black memorabilia made available.