NASCAR's William 'Rowdy' Harrell and Wife Die in Car Crash While on Honeymoon


The NASCAR community is mourning the loss of Hendrick Motorsports pit crew member William “Rowdy” Harrell after he and his wife were killed in a car crash while on their honeymoon.

Harrell, 30, and his wife Blakley, 23, died on Nov. 24 in the Florida Keys, three days after their wedding, according to a statement from Hendrick Motorsports.

“The newlyweds were traveling to celebrate their honeymoon after being married on Saturday,” Hendrick Motorsports said.

Greg Ives, Harrell’s chief for the past six seasons, said the entire team is “devastated” by the loss.

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“Our entire team is absolutely devastated at the loss of Rowdy and Blakley,” Ives 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.”

Ives added, “Although he will be greatly missed, his memory will continue to inspire us always. Our prayers are with Rowdy, Blakley and their wonderful family.”

Florida Highway Patrol reports said Harrell was driving a 2020 Toyota Corolla that collided with a Ford pickup truck on U.S. Highway 1 on Lower Matecumbe Key, NASCAR reported.

The truck’s driver was treated for minor injuries and two passengers were seriously injured.

Before his time with NASCAR, Harrell was a walk-on middle linebacker and three-time national champion with the University of Alabama football team.

Harrell was a tire carrier and pit-crew member for Hendrick Motorsports for the last eight seasons and most recently worked on the No. 88 team for driver Alex Bowman in the NASCAR Cup Series.

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“Rowdy was everything that made the 88 team, the 88 team,” Bowman tweeted. “He was the happiest person you’d ever meet, and that was only reinforced by his wife Blakley. Rip to an absolute legend. You’ll be missed every single day brother.”

Kevin Hamlin, a spotter for the 88 team, tweeted, “Rowdy was one of the most happy, kindest souls I’d ever met and one of the greatest on pit road.”

“Rarely do you meet a guy who always smiles. Rowdy was that guy,” NASCAR analyst Steve Letarte tweeted. “He made his team better and more importantly made everyone around him better. Thoughts and prayers to his and Blakley’s family.”

Photographer HannahSharriee shared pictures from the wedding on her Facebook page along with a GoFundMe link for the families.

“These two loved each other so hard and it was obvious,” she wrote. “They were filled with excitement for their future life together.”

“They had so much ahead of them,” she added. “Be sure to tell your loved ones how much they mean to you.”

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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