Dale Inman Honored with Wood Brothers Award of Excellence

National Motorsports Press Association, Darlington, SC — January 19, 2021

Dale Inman is the 2020 recipient of the Wood Brothers Award of Excellence, the National Motorsports Press Association announced today.

Determined by the vote of a committee that includes members of the Wood family, the Wood Brothers Award of Excellence honors crew chiefs, crew members, engine builders, and race engineers who make outstanding contributions to NASCAR racing through on-track success.

A 2012 inductee into the NASCAR Hall of Fame, Inman won 193 races and eight championships as a crew chief—both records in NASCAR’s foremost Cup Series division. Inman earned seven of his titles while paired with stock car racing legend Richard Petty, in 1964, 1967, 1971, 1972, 1974, 1975, and 1979.

The 1967 season was particularly noteworthy. Petty and Inman won a single-season record 27 races, 10 of them consecutively, also a series record.

Dale Inman(R) with Richard Petty(L) NASCAR Photo / Getty Images

In 1984, Inman won his final championship with driver Terry Labonte and team owner Billy Hagan. He is the second recipient of the Wood Brothers Award. Leonard Wood was honored with the inaugural award last year.

“The Wood Brothers Award is quite an honor, as long as they’ve been in racing,” Inman said. “And I guess, with me connected to the Pettys, I’m still in racing to a certain degree. What an honor it is. To be the second recipient of it is great. To be following Leonard Wood, who was one of the great ones, is another honor.”

Throughout their respective tenures, Leonard Wood and Inman were fierce competitors, but they raced with consummate respect for each other.

“I guess we’ve been friends over the years, but to be as competitive as we have been, with David (Pearson) as their driver—of course, they’ve had more drivers than that—but I think (Pearson) and Richard ran first and second 60-some times, and it turned out pretty equal…
“I was fortunate enough to be connected with the Pettys, but so many close races. It’s unreal—and such an honor.”

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Steve Sweitzer
Steve is the Sports Editor for the Lasco Press and highlights our coverage of the NASCAR Cup Series. Steve is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association and a nationally published author of automotive related articles for industry trade magazines. He is also a freelance technical writer and accomplished photographer. A 25-year resident of Southeast Michigan, Steve’s passion for reporting on our community, it’s residents, and our automotive connections allow us to use his skills to cover a number of events. Steve’s ability to seek out the unique behind the scenes accounts that tell the often-overlooked aspect of a story makes for entertaining reading. Follow Steve at thelascopress.com with weekly NASCAR updates and featured articles.