was in 1978
96 FORD. How
(Editor Notes): I searched through
many internet files and little is reported about Will Cronkrite as a
car owner. His Statistics will be
below, but there is little in pictures or
PLEASE EMAIL ANY STORIES OR PICTURES YOU MAY HAVE HERE.
What prompted this website listing was the
Good afternoon, my
name is Will Cronkrite.
I was Dales Sr.'s
early crew chief and was working for Ricky Rudd,
Mark Martin, Joe Frasson, Cecil Gordon and
Thank you for your time in this matter.
Thank you, Will
It was an easy decision for the eligibility
of Mr. Cronkrite's inclusion. We look forward to increasing the
The following are excerpts
of some website chats.
Will had one of the
most memorable talks about suspension or the lack of, in a
NASCAR car ever. Will had a solidworks drawing of a suspension
table to put a car on. You could reproduce any bump on it. If it
catches on, and it will, NASCAR will change A LOT. And
also Will has some cool Model A stuff. He is truly a Renaissance
man of the ages and a very good friend. Mark D.
I met Will at Henrob
Jim's get together in South Carolina a few years back. A Fine
Craftsman, and a Fine Gentleman. The only reason you would not
like him is if you were in a model A show competing with him and
you did not want to take a second place trophy home. We swapped
a few of those old #3 stories, That first dirt car Ralph got for
Dale when he was a teenager was built just up the creek where I
grew up. Sometimes you can still hear those guys fire up a dirt
car and it echoes down the creek bottom to Mom and Dads
I met Cronkrite through
selling the torch and and am glad to know him and you all, I am
glad to have been included in Metalmeet and this site and hope
we can all bring our circle of friends, Past, Present and Future
together under the best surroundings I know of. Jim
on the Earnhardt Story
In the mid 70's, Earnhardt was an
established racer. He can't remember how many races a
year he entered, but he was always on the go. He'd
travel from Savannah, Ga., to Coeburn, Va., to Hickory.
He did most of the work on his cars himself, but he did
receive assistance from friends.
"I did race in a Winston Cup event,
the World 600 in Charlotte, in Ed Negre's car in 1975."
"Then I drove a car for Johnny Ray at
Atlanta in 1976 and tore it all to hell.
And later, I ran in four races for
Will Cronkrite. But late in
1978, I was buying used parts from Rod Osterlund (who
fielded a Winston Cup Team with driver Dave Marcis) and
DiGard and just about anyone else who would sell them to
me. "Some people began saying nice things about me to
Roland Wlodyka, who was Osterlund's racing boss."
Earnhardt and Osterlund starting
talking about fielding a second team in 1979. Osterlund
wanted Earnhardt to drive in the Winston Cup race in
November of 1978, but if he did that, he would have six
starts for the year and thus be ineligible for the
rookie of the year title in 1979. "I was going to run
Will's car in Charlotte in
October, a car that broke a spindle during practice and
I crashed. It was real bad. We worked like hell to fix
it, but it wasn't in good shape to run competitively in
the race," Earnhardt said. To solve the
Charlotte-Atlanta dilemma, Earnhardt solicited the
services of journeyman Baxter Price to start the
Cronkrite car at Charlotte.
Earnhardt drove some and then Price got back into the
car, which eventually retired with a blown engine.
That finished, Dale was able to drive
Osterlund's car at Atlanta, and still retain rookie
status for 1979. He finished fourth. "We would have done
better if we hadn't had an air line bust in the pits,"
he said. The idea of a two-car Osterlund operation
vanished when Marcis quit the team. Earnhardt was
selected to be his replacement. After only a handful of
races on the Winston Cup circuit, Earnhardt was going to
be a full-time competitor with a top notch team. Nascar
would never be the same.
Will Cronkrite with a young
Ricky Rudd at the Charlotte World 600
Elliott Forbes Robinson and
the 1982 Talladega "Narrow" Buick
Mark Martin and his Busch car
With Joe Frasson at the
Charlotte Busch race in 1973
Burt Reynolds movie 'Stand On
It' - Will Cronkrite built and drove this car
Cecil Gordon at Daytona - Will
Cronkrite Crew Chief
Please Click on this Logo and
go to Will Cronkrite's business website and there are many more
Cronkrite Winston Cup