NASCAR community mourns the tragic loss of William “Rowdy” Harrell
William “Rowdy” Harrell was a NASCAR pit crew member with Hendrick Motorsports. Most recently, Harrell worked with Alex Bowman in the NASCAR Cup Series.
30-year-old Harrell and his 23-year-old wife Blakley were killed in a crash in the Florida Keys on Tuesday night. The couple were on their honeymoon.
A report from the Florida Highway Patrol stated the couple was traveling North on Highway 1. Harrell was driving his Toyota Corolla where he crossed the center lane of the two lane highway.
Around 9:40pm a pickup truck in the Southbound lane attempted to avoid Harrell but was unsuccessful. The 62-year-old driver of the truck sustained only minor injuries. The passengers of the truck, a 58-year-old female and a 62-year-old female were both airlifted in critical condition.
The report stated that both William and Blakley were wearing seat belts at the time of the crash.
Harrell won three national championships while a linebacker while playing football for the University of Alabama. Hale County High School previously honored him by naming the road the the football stadium as Rowdy Harrell Way.
Hendrick Motorsports statement
Alex Bowman commented via social media, “Rowdy was everything that made the 88 team, the 88 team. The biggest personality and the best person. He was the happiest person you’d ever meet, and that was only reenforced by his wife Blakley. Rip to an absolute legend. You’ll be missed every single day brother.”
Kevin Hamlin (no. 88 spotted) commented, “Got a really terrible phone call from Greg this morning. Rowdy was one of the most happy, kindest souls I’d ever met and one of the greatest on pit road. I feel so terrible for his and Blakley’s families, and this team won’t be the same without them.”
“Our entire team is absolutely devastated at the loss of Rowdy and Blakley, said Greg Ives, who was Harrell’s crew chief for the past six seasons. “They were such positive, giving and passionate people who could not have been a more perfect match. Rowdy had an energetic and infectious personality.”
Ives added, “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.”
On Wednesday, Hendrick Motorsports issued a statement:
“Today, Hendrick Motorsports learned that team member William ‘Rowdy’ Harrell and his wife, Blakley, were tragically killed in an automobile accident in Florida last night. The newlyweds were traveling to celebrate their honeymoon after being married on Saturday.
“Harrell, 30, was a stand-out tire carrier for Hendrick Motorsports for the last eight seasons, most recently with the No. 88 NASCAR Cup Series team of driver Alex Bowman. He was also a two-time NASCAR Xfinity Series champion pit crew member with JR Motorsports.