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Waddell Wilson

A dual threat as an engine builder and crew chief, Wilson powered and guided cars to some of the biggest victories in NASCAR history.

  • Inducted: 2020
  • Position:Crew Chief / Engine Builder

Vitals

Hometown

Bakersville, NC

Born

12/29/1936

PREMIER SERIES CREW CHIEF STATS

Competed

1979-1988, 1990-1993, 1995

Starts / Wins / Poles

287 / 22 / 32

As an engine builder, he supplied the power that helped David Pearson (1968, 1969) and Benny Parsons (1973) to premier series titles.

Overall, Wilson’s engines helped some of the greatest drivers to ever wheel a car—including NASCAR Hall of Famers Pearson, Fireball Roberts, Bobby Allison, Cale Yarborough and Darrell Waltrip —to 109 wins and 123 poles.

He originally gained acclaim for building the engine Roberts used to win the 1963 Southern 500. Wilson guided three cars to Victory Lane in the Daytona 500 as a crew chief, winning The Great American Race with Buddy Baker (1980) and Cale Yarborough (1983-1984). The famed “Grey Ghost” he assembled for Buddy Baker still holds the Daytona 500 record with an average speed of 177.602 MPH.

Wilson directed his drivers to 22 wins and 32 poles as a crew chief. In 1982, Wilson built the first engine to help a premier series driver break 200 MPH when Benny Parsons turned a 200.176 MPH qualifying lap at Talladega for the Winston 500.