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Rowdy Harrell and his wife Blakley were killed in a car crash Tuesday night just days after they got married.
Rowdy, 30, was the tire carrier for Alex Bowman’s No. 88 car. He and Blakley, 23, got married on Saturday and were killed when their car collided with another car head-on in the Florida Keys.
“Our entire team is absolutely devastated at the loss of Rowdy and Blakley,” crew chief Greg Ives said in a statement Wednesday afternoon. “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.”
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
According to the Miami Herald, Harrell was driving a 2020 Toyota Corolla that collided with a pickup heading the opposite direction when Harrell’s car veered into the other lane. Per the Florida Highway Patrol, both Rowdy and Blakley died on the highway. The driver of the truck, who had swerved onto the shoulder to try to avoid Harrell’s car, had minor injuries. Two women in the truck were transported to hospitals with serious injuries.
Harrell was a walk-on linebacker at Alabama before he joined Hendrick Motorsports. He played with the Crimson Tide from 2009-12 and the team won three national titles while he was there.
Before he was a tire carrier for Bowman’s team, Harrell worked for JR Motorsports when Ives was a crew chief there. Ives became Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s crew chief in 2015 and Harrell worked on Ives’ crew in each of the last six seasons.
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