Friends remembered: William R. Wimble

friends remembered
William R. Wimble

William R. Wimble, 84, of Valrico, Fla., died April 24, 2016.  He was one of five men awarded the medal in 1963 for that year’s Feb. 14 rescue of the driver of a burning race car at the Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.  Wimble, then 31, sustained burns to both hands and wrists in the rescue, during which he and others lifted the overturned vehicle to allow the driver, who was severely burned, to open the car’s door.  Others then pulled the driver from the vehicle.  Wimble was a storied NASCAR driver who in addition to winning many track championships won the NASCAR point championships in 1960 and 1961.  He became “big friends” with the man he helped to rescue, Marvin Panch, who died at age 89 in 2015.