Hendrick Motorsports addressed the death of pit member William “Rowdy” Harrell on Friday. Harrell, alongside his recently-married wife Blakely, both passed after a head-on car crash on US 1 in South Florida Wednesday night.
Harrell had just completed his eighth season with Hendrick Motorsports, and spent a further two seasons with JR Motorsports in the years before that.
The racing team released a statement on the death of Harrell.
“Our entire team is absolutely devastated at the loss of Rowdy and Blakley,” Greg Ives, Harrell’s crew chief for the past six seasons, said. “They were such positive, giving and passionate people who could not have been a more perfect match. Rowdy had an energetic and infectious personality. He was the heart and soul of our team and always kept us motivated, no matter the circumstance. Rowdy shared his love with the people around him and was loved in return. Although he will be greatly missed, his memory will continue to inspire us always. Our prayers are with Rowdy, Blakley and their wonderful family.”
Before his career in NASCAR, Harrell was a walk-on for the University of Alabama football team. He won three national championships.
Details on Car Crash
The pair had married on November 21 and were heading to the Florida Keys as their honeymoon trip. Additionally, according to a report from the Miami Herald, the pair’s car veered into an oncoming lane, crashing into a 2013 Ford F-250.
The crash happened at 9:40 p.m. on Wednesday night. Besides the deaths of Blakely and Rowdy, the crash severely injured two passengers of the struck truck. Further, the pair were airlifted to local hospitals.
Meanwhile, the driver of the F-250 suffered minor injuries. The status of the passengers is not available. Florida Highway Patrol also said that all passengers were wearing seatbelts.