Jeff Hammond Presented with Smokey Yunick Award

HHP/David Tulis Photo Standout crew chief Jeff Hammond is presented the Smokey Yunick Award during the Bank of America ROval 400 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, NC, September 29, 2019. (HHP/David Tulis)

Veteran NASCAR crew chief and broadcaster Jeff Hammond was honored as this year’s recipient for Charlotte Motor Speedway’s Smokey Yunick Award.

Hammond earned 43 wins and two NASCAR Cup Series Championships during his crew chief career from 1982-2000. Hammond presently works as a NASCAR broadcaster for FOX Sports and the Performance Racing Network.

Making the presentation was Marcus Smith, the president and CEO of Speedway Motorsports.

“We couldn’t think of anybody more deserving than you for this award,” Smith said to Hammond. “Just a legend in motorsports and (part of) so much history in NASCAR. We couldn’t be more pleased to award you with the Smokey Yunick Award for this year. We love the history that Charlotte Motor Speedway represents and we want to thank you for the awesome impact you have had in motorsports and community.”

Presented annually since 1997 to honor famed mechanic Henry “Smokey” Yunick, the award recognizes an individual who rose from humble beginnings to make a major impact on the motorsports industry.

“I was floored. I never saw this coming.” Hammond said. “It’s a great honor and I am very humbled by it. I was sharing the story with Marcus (Smith) earlier about how this place is about four miles from where I grew up and 50 years ago, I was packing the wheel bearings on my uncle’s dirt car. My dad and uncle walked over and my uncle said ‘He thinks he’s another Smokey Yunick’. From that point on I started finding out who Smokey Yunick was. And that he was not just a great NASCAR champion. Smokey had a lot of passion for what he did. He was an innovator. I was blessed to have known Smokey and he has influenced my career. And this makes this award much more special.”

Past winners of the Smokey Yunick Award include Ken Squier, Waddell Wilson, Banjo Matthews, Ray Evernham and Jimmy Fennig.


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