Monday, June 3, 2019

#JD70: J.D. McDuffie honored by New York Associated Press and Watkins Glen Walk of Fame

PHOTO: Charlie Berch
Yesterday saw J.D. McDuffie honored not once, but twice in New York state.

First, congratulations to sports editor Andy Malnoske and his staff at WETM-18 in Elmira, New York, who on Sunday earned multiple awards from the New York State Associated Press Association, including two for their segment on J.D. McDuffie. Not only did “Remembering A Legend: J.D. McDuffie” take First Place for best Sports Feature, but the pre-race program itself, “The Glen All Access: NASCAR 2018,” also took First Place for best Sports Coverage.

This was an honor well-deserved by Malnoske and his staff. Last August, Watkins Glen International refused to let WETM-18 record their segment with Linda McDuffie, Charlie Berch, and myself at the track. Undaunted, Malnoske personally invited us to his studio on Friday night, and his staff worked late into the night getting the segment ready to air.

Second, Sunday also saw the official induction of J.D. McDuffie into the Watkins Glen Walk of Fame. As part of new construction on South Franklin Street, the original front stretch of the 1948 road course, McDuffie’s stone was laid down on the sidewalk in front of Smalley’s Garage, joined by the stone for Tom Smalley himself. It was at Smalley’s that the stone was unveiled during my book signing for J.D.: The Life and Death of a Forgotten NASCAR Legend the night before last year’s Cup race at The Glen. Now, a quarter-century after McDuffie’s passing, his name will be there for all to see.

Thank you again to Smalley’s for their hospitality, and to the staff of the International Motor Racing Research Center for making this happen. As with the staff of WETM-18, I will never forget all they have done.

It’s been an honor to have played a small role in telling the tale of J.D. McDuffie, and to see that his name will be remembered both on screen and in stone. It’s taken hard work, much as it did for the man from Sanford on each #70 for 653 Cup Series starts. But it’s all been more than worth it.

To pick up your copy of my book, J.D.: The Life and Death of a Forgotten NASCAR Legend, click on this link for details.

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