On Wednesday night, tragedy struck for the Hendrick Motorsports team. One of their team members, William “Rowdy” Harrell, and his wife passed away in an accident. What makes it more heart-breaking is that Harrell and his wife had only recently tied the knot. The happy couple was on their honeymoon in Florida when the incident occurred.
The 30-year-old was a key member of the team, particularly in the #88 camp. For the last eight seasons, he was the team’s tire carrier and he will be sorely missed. It is worth noting that Harrell won the NASCAR Xfinity Series twice as a member of the JR Motorsports crew.
“Our entire team is absolutely devastated at the loss of Rowdy and Blakley,” said crew chief Greg Ives.
“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.”
According to the Florida Highway Patrol, Harrell was in a 2020 Toyota Corolla. Apparently, his car collided with a Ford pick-up truck. While the driver of the other car sustained minor injuries, both of his passengers picked up a couple of serious injuries.
The news hit Alex Bowman hard. He went on to pay a beautiful tribute to the crewman, declaring that Harrell practically gave the #88 team its identity. Truthfully, this could be a hard loss for the Hendrick Motorsports team, but as the saying goes, ‘the show must go on.’
The 27-year-old acknowledged that the late crewman was one of the happiest people he knew and he even spared a thought for Harrell’s wife, Blakley. Others who paid tribute were William Byron, Chase Elliott, and #88 spotter, Kevin Hamlin.