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WADDELL WILSON EARNS SMOKEY YUNICK AWARD

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WADDELL WILSON EARNS SMOKEY YUNICK AWARD

Post  Media Mogle on Mon Oct 14, 2013 8:34 pm

Former NASCAR engine builder and crew chief Waddell Wilson was presented with the prestigious Smokey Yunick Award Saturday afternoon at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The Smokey Yunick Award recognizes an individual who rose from humble beginnings to make a major impact in motorsports. The award was first given in 1997 and is named in honor of the legendary mechanic and car owner who passed away in 2001.

“I was floored when I heard I had won this,” said Wilson. “I could not imagine with all of the people to pick from they chose me. It’s more than an honor with all the people I have been around and worked with and come up through the ranks with. And all of them I know that deserve this more than I do.”

Charlotte Motor Speedway president and general manager Marcus Smith presented Wilson with the award.

“He shied away from the spotlight, but his tireless efforts were a driving force behind some of the sport’s greatest drivers and he is a most deserving recipient of the Smokey Yunick Award,” Smith said.

In his career, Wilson won Daytona 500 three times as a crew chief and engine builder. His engine powered the car that Benny Parsons used to turn the first 200 mph lap in NASCAR history. Wilson has 109 wins to his credit as an engine builder and 13 as a crew chief. Wilson also served instrumental roles with Cale Yarborough Motorsports, Darrell Waltrip Motorsports and Larry Hedrick Motorsports. He retired from racing in 2000.

Former NASCAR driver and ESPN commentator Ricky Craven benefited from Wilson’s experience. “I could not have won Rookie of the Year without him,” said Craven. “He is not only one of the best people I know, he is a great family man.”

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