Into The Mind Of The Master: This Look Back On Smokey Yunick Is Awesome!

Into The Mind Of The Master: This Look Back On Smokey Yunick Is Awesome!

What if you had a sport controlled by a family? What if that sport had a legacy that included one of the most colorful people in motorsports history? What if the family hated that guy so much that they seemingly decided that his everlasting punishment would be a longtime banishment from their official tellings of the sport’s history and entrance into places like the sport’s hall of fame? Seems like something right out of the movies?

Nah, it’s the France family and Smokey Yunick. A man who’s forward thinking and innovative brain drove some of the most interesting developments in NASCAR history is persona non grata in the hall of fame as of yet. BUT, you cant deny things that actually happened, right? That’s the beauty of Smokey. Not only did he exist, there’s evidence in the form of the cars, the old films, and the written history. They can keep his spirit at bay for a while but eventually they’ll come around. He’ll wear them down from the grave like he did on the track.

This is a show made by FS1 that tells some awesome stories about the Daytona 500 and the first eight minutes are dedicated to Smokey Yunick. You’ll see vintage race footage, vintage interviews, and modern interviews with NASCAR legends that were there when he was there. The story about opening day at the speedway and Bill France is amazing. It’s also one of a million reasons that Bill France wanted to wring Yunick’s neck most of the time.

Press play below to see this awesome footage of Smokey Yunick and his past –

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6 thoughts on “Into The Mind Of The Master: This Look Back On Smokey Yunick Is Awesome!

  1. Tim

    Thanks Brian for posting this video. As I commented before the France’s have tried to purge Smokey Yunick out of history of NASCAR and Daytona. I sent you the picture of all that is left of his race shop, an open field (unknown cause of a fire) and a street sign (Smokey Yunick Way) that some city worker got put up to remember him so he wouldn’t be forgot completely. Don Garlits got some of his cars and shop stuff out and has it in his museum. (he could be a good source of stories on Smokey). Smokey cant be purged all the way because too many people and the car company’s used and knew him.

  2. Jeff

    Had the pleasure of hearing him speak once back in the early 90’s. He was a character and had the crowd hanging on every word. I’m no NASCAR fan but he was a one of a kind genius.

  3. CyberRanger

    Smoky Yunick influenced me to the point where anytime I see a problem that needs fixing, I absolutely try to see it from a viewpoint others don’t. It doesn’t always work, but often it does. I try to step back & see things differently.

    Literally, Smoky’s examples changed who I am. I’m not a follower. I forge my own path. Not only in the automotive realm, but in all areas of life.

    You could say Smoky is one of my heros, right up there with the Rangers who scaled the cliffs at Normandy.

    Life Smoky, I enjoy tweaking those who are, or at least think they are, in charge.

  4. Curtis

    In all of automotive history there are many people to admire, but for myself I would have to say Smokey Yunick and Mickey Thompson are at the top of my list. Smokey Yunick was mechanical genius mixed with a fantastic work ethic and an honest and yet caustic sense of humor. It’s a shame we don’t have many like him.


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