Barry Wright was born in Shelby, North Carolina, and was a 1969 Shelby High School graduate.
Barry worked for several years as an automobile mechanic with always a dream in the back of his mind to some day have a racecar of his own. He had loved going to the races as a child with his father. By 1971, he had built his first racecar. He was the crew chief and his childhood friend, Butch Bowen, was the driver. They won several races that first year. But in the second year of racing, they won races everywhere they went.
Barry had started his own automotive repair business in Shelby. He was very successful in that venture, but he longed to build racecars for a living. His success with his own car had other racers asking him to work on their cars. In 1976, his dream came true. He and his wife Judy moved to Spartanburg, South Carolina, where Barry had some financial backing to build cars for a race team.
He opened his own racecar manufacturing business in April 1977 and built cars for many of the top dirt late model drivers in the country. By 1980, he had built a new shop in Cowpens, South Carolina, where he still does the racecar manufacturing. In 1987, he added on to his building and in 1997 incorporated powder coating into his enterprise. In 2007, he added on to the Cowpens racecar facility again.
Barry has had many years of racing success and is considered one of the premier dirt late model pioneers. He has designed many pieces that go onto the cars as well as designing the chassis itself. He also has many top-notch drivers in his cars all over the country. Now in his 34th year of racecar design and manufacturing, his cars continue to win as he researches, tests and develops new and improved components for all of his racers.
One of the most satisfying things he has accomplished was his induction into the “Dirt Late Model Hall of Fame” in 2002. His induction was for “Lifetime contributions to the sport.” It was so pleasing and humbling for him to be recognized in this way.
Some other honors and awards he has received include:
- Who’s Who Among Rising Young Americans in Business and Society
- National Dirt Racing Association (NDRA) Pro National Series Tour Car Builder
- 1993, 1994, & 1995 Hav-A-Tampa Dirt Racing Series Chassis Manufacturer of the Year
- 2001, 2002, & 2004 National Dirt Late Model Chassis Manufacturer of the Year
- 2004 & 2005 O’Reilly Southern All Stars Series Chassis Manufacturer of the Year
- 2005 World Dirt Racing League (WDRL) Chassis Manufacturer of the Year
Barry has also won some prestigious races in his career. One of the most outstanding races was in 1995 when his “House Car” won the $100,000 to win ‘Dream 100’ at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio.
Also, in June 2007, NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Carl Edwards, won the “Prelude to the Dream” race at Eldora Speedway in a Barry Wright chassis.
In 2010, Barry and the House car team won the Southern Nationals Championship title. With driver Jonathan Davenport at the wheel, the team continues to win races as they run with the best of the best across the nation in the Ultimate Super Late Model Series and the World of Outlaws.
Stop by and visit BWRC during your time at the Charlotte Racers Expo.