Wayne Coakley.com - the memorial site
April 1, 1943- September 24, 1989
In other sports when a legend retires or passes away, his number is retired. In stock car racing the way of honoring is conducted thru memorial races, or events held in honor of the driver, since the sport doesn't retire car numbers used by the driver- it's the common standard of remembering racing's greatest.
If you questioned most race fans, the obvious most memorialized racer mentioned would be Dale Earnhardt. But in a sport where the memorial race at the drivers home track or the track of outstanding accomplishments is a yard stick against contributions and impact on the sport... Dale Earnhardt doesn't have a memorial race in his name.
Wayne Coakley is far from a household name in racing circles, but his legacy in Kentucky extends beyond his home track to a vast distance of miles of various racing tracks that have hosted Wayne Coakley Memorial races to honor his legacy- making him without question- the most memorialized race car driver, ever.
From the first memorial race - an event at Taylor County Speedway in Campbellsville, Kentucky- held a few months after his passing to the most recent event a late summer 2008 event at Paducah International Raceway, drivers have raced hard, nearly as hard as Wayne used to throw his #33 around the corners, to win a Wayne Coakley Memorial.
In an on-going memorial, this site will review the racing history of Wayne Coakley, reflect on Wayne Coakley Memorial Races and share others stories, photos and recollections of the driver of the #33 dirt racing car... one of Kentucky's greatest race car drivers- Wayne Coakley.
Twenty Years Later... Remembering a Kentucky Legend... the Wayne Coakley Memorial Weekend
Congratulations to Terry English on winning the Wayne Coakley Memorial at Western Ky Speedway Saturday August 22, 2009
Congatulations to Rodney Melvin on winning the Wayne Coakley Memorial at Windy Hollow Speedway Sunday August 23, 2009
Aaron Ridley's two second place finishes puts him in the lead for the Wayne Coakley Kentucky Racer of the Year Award with the September Paducah Int'l Raceway Wayne Coakley Memorial yet to go!
The Sacramento, Kentucky based Red's Gravel Service Red Camaro around 1977/78
The Sellars Automotive CJ Rayburn Nite Crew car at Central Park Raceway
Rayburn Chassis Limited Late Model for Richard and David Hill's owned team
The Phil Edge Owensboro, KY Tapp Motor Sales Pac Man car that dominated the early season of UMP Points. Just before summer, Edge sold out the team as it was leading Iowa's Gary Webb - who went on to claim the title. Coakley's early season victory at Brownstown (IN) Speedway and wins at Paducah Int'l Raceway during the spring made Wayne the first Kentucky driver in history to lead the UMP National Points.
~ Early 70's: Windy Hollow Speedway - Victory Lane in the Jessie Baize Racing Coupe. Photo contributed by Jessie Baize's Grandson, also named Jessie, currently a racer at Western Ky Speedway (2008).
1987 Central Park Raceway, Beaver Dam, Kentucky
-photo courtesy Richard Cunningham
Paducah, KY (Sept. 15, 2006) - - Straight Circles Communications is pleased to announce the launching of Wayne Coakley.com as an ongoing memorial to the memory of one of Kentucky's all time greatest race car drivers.
One week from tonight, will mark 17 years since the tragic night took Wayne from the racing world. During those 17 years not only has Wayne's family and friend's not let his memory fade from public view, but racing communities across the state of Kentucky have preserved his legacy and honored his memory, just as PIR is doing tonight.
The Wayne Coakley.com website will provide an online memorial to his racing career and further keep his spirit alive and serve as a educational site to new racing fans of the legacy of the Sacramento, Kentucky legend.
Fans are encouraged to submit photos and memento's of Wayne via links established on the website and visit the site regularly for new items.
~1975 Tri-State Speedway, Haubstadt, IN
-photo courtesy Richard Cunningham Collection
~1980 Windy Hollow Raceway, Owensboro/Mosleyville, Kentucky
-photo courtesy Ed Hawkins via Donna Coakley
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Wayne's tombstone in Sacramento, Kentucky
-photo courtesy Richard Cunningham
© 2006-2008 Straight Circles Communications