Hendrick Motorsports crew member William ‘Rowdy’ Harrell and his wife, Blakely, died last week in an automobile accident while on their honeymoon, the team has confirmed.
Harrell, 30, “was a standout 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,” the Hendrick team said in confirming the tragic news.
The two were married in Harrell’s home state of Alabama. The accident occurred in the Florida Keys around 9:40 p.m. Wednesday. According to a report from the Florida Highway Patrol, Harrell was driving a Toyota Corolla that crossed the center line and collided with a Ford pickup truck on U.S. Highway 1. The driver of the truck was treated for minor injuries while its two passengers were seriously injured.
Harrell entered NASCAR after winning three national championships (NCAAF) as a middle linebacker for the University of Alabama.
“Our entire team is absolutely devastated at the loss of Rowdy and Blakley,” said Greg Ives, the crew chief of the No. 88 team. “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, Blakely, and their wonderful family.”
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. pic.twitter.com/ouvflY1M7h
— Alex Bowman (@AlexBowman88) November 25, 2020