As a crew chief, Barry Dodson helped guide Rusty Wallace to his only NASCAR Cup Series championship in 1989 and worked with some of racing’s best-known drivers, including Tim Richmond, Darrell Waltrip and Kyle Petty. But Dodson, who passed away Wednesday, also left an impact on many others in the sport, as tributes to him on Twitter showed.
Wallace was among those who shared memories and thoughts on Twitter.
“Barry was an incredible leader & one of our sport’s best crew chiefs,” wrote Wallace, a member of the 2013 NASCAR Hall of Fame class. “We had a lot of success together & had a lot of fun too. If it weren’t for Barry, I likely wouldn’t be where I am today.”
Our thoughts & prayers are with Barry Dodson’s family. Barry was an incredible leader & one of our sport’s best crew chiefs. We had a lot of success together & had a lot of fun too. If it weren’t for Barry, I likely wouldn’t be where I am today. He will be greatly missed. pic.twitter.com/2TrpuRb0JS— Rusty Wallace (@RustyWallace) December 21, 2017
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Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s short tweet – a reflection on Dodson’s supportive personality – garnered a lot of attention.
“He was always incredibly nice to me, from the day I met him,” Earnhardt’s tweet said. “I will never forget how caring and supportive he was.”
Sad to hear of the passing of Barry Dodson. He was always incredibly nice to me, from the day I met him. I will never forget how caring and supportive he was.— Ralph Dale Earnhardt Jr. (@DaleJr) December 21, 2017
According to NASCAR.com, Dodson’s brother John Dodson confirmed his death with a statement that read, in part, that the former crew chief “served the sport with a passion that few will ever match.”
Family statement from John Dodson on the passing of his brother Barry on Weds:— Mike Solarte (@MikeSolarte) December 20, 2017
“Barry’s passing leaves us all with heavy hearts. He left his mark in the NASCAR history books and he served the sport with a passion that few will ever match. We love him and we miss him. “
Dodson’s final Cup Series win, his 19th at NASCAR’s highest level, proved to the most emotional, as it followed the death of his son Trey, 17, and daughter Tia, 16, in a single-car accident in South Carolina in November 1994.
The following season, Dodson led the crew for Petty at Dover International Speedway where Petty avoided a 19-car wreck on just the third lap before dominating the race. The victory, also Petty’s final in the Cup Series, ended the driver’s two-year win drought.
Dodson dedicated the win to his children.
“I knew we could, I felt like we could, and by golly, we did it,” Dodson said after the win.
Dodson also won races as a crew chief in the Truck Series and was general manager for Wallace’s Xfinity Series team.
Racing community praises Dodson
A tweet from Dodson’s stepson, Trent Owens, the crew chief for JTG Daugherty Racing’s No. 37 team, generated a stream of responses.
With sadness, my brother and sisters dad Barry Dodson went to join them in heaven this morning. He missed his children so much. He was a great and loving step father, and had much to do with my own career path, BD will be greatly missed ❤️— Trent Owens (@wtrentowens) December 20, 2017
Waltrip, another Hall of Famer, was among the well-known names in NASCAR tweeting about Dodson this week.
One of the unsung heroes of ur sport passed away today, Barry Dodson worked for me for a short period of time, I’m sorry to hear about his passing, he was a great guy, RIP my dear old friend, God Bless and praying for his family!— Darrell Waltrip (@AllWaltrip) December 21, 2017
Others in the industry mourned his passing, including many who recalled working with Dodson.
So sorry to hear of the passing of Barry Dodson. He was one of the people that made me feel welcomed in the Cup garage from my very first day there. He will be missed.— Jeff Burton (@JeffBurton) December 21, 2017
I always enjoyed talking with Barry. He was very kind and encouraging.— David Ragan (@DavidRagan) December 21, 2017
I’ve always respected Barry Dodson. I was one of the lucky ones to work with him. So much fun those years on TV and always made you feel good about life. Will miss his story telling and smile. RIP BD.— Wendy Venturini (@WendyVenturini) December 21, 2017
Tonight we remember the life and legacy of championship crew chief, Barry Dodson. You’ll always hold a special place in the heart of Darlington, Barry.— Darlington Raceway (@TooToughToTame) December 21, 2017
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Dodson family. https://t.co/qBP08tI1h6
Our thoughts and prayers are with TO and the entire Dodson family. Barry was a true racer. https://t.co/om1yq2e2Oq— Richard Petty Motorsports (@RPMotorsports) December 21, 2017
Really sad to hear of Barry Dodson’s passing. I really enjoyed the times we spent together when he worked on the Truck Series broadcast team (stuff I can talk about) and more so, the times we spent as neighbors (stuff better left on the DL).— Jon Wood (@_JonWood) December 21, 2017
Sad to hear of the passing of my first Crew Chief in my Nascar career, Barry Dodson. I started working with him right after the death of his 2 kids in a car accident. I think now he can finally have the peace that he longed for, back with Trey and Tia #BarryDodson #Nascar https://t.co/x3cnwV5TmB— David Hamm (@dhammiam) December 21, 2017
Farewell, my friend Barry Dodson. We shared much during your successful career at the tracks and then beyond in front of the TV cameras. I am saddened but left with so many good memories. So grateful to you for that. #nascar— Steve Waid (@stevewaid) December 21, 2017
Truly saddened to learn of the passing of Barry Dodson. He was synonymous with NASCAR and racing excellence when I started watching. Had the privilege to work with him during my television career, always an incredibly nice guy. Prayers to his friends, fans and family. God Speed pic.twitter.com/rGOFyGg0bK— Smyle- Creative Marketing & Brand Strategist (@smylemedia) December 21, 2017
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