17 July, 2019

Smokey Yunick


Henry "Smokey" Yunick was an American mechanic and car designer associated with motorsports. Yunick was deeply involved in the early years of NASCAR, and he is probably most associated with that racing genre. He participated as a racer, designer, and held other jobs related to the sport, but was best known as a mechanic, builder, and crew chief.

Yunick was twice NASCAR mechanic of the year; and his teams would include 50 of the most famous drivers in the sport, winning 57 NASCAR Cup Series races, including two championships in 1951 and 1953.

He was renowned as an opinionated character who "was about as good as there ever was on engines", according to Marvin Panch, who drove stock cars for Yunick and won the 1961 Daytona 500. His trademark white uniform and battered cowboy hat, together with a cigar or pipe, were a familiar sight in the pits of almost every NASCAR or Indianapolis 500 race for over twenty years. During the 1980s, he wrote a technical column, "Track Tech", for Circle Track magazine. In 1990, he was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame.

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