Shawn Waddell On A Storytellers Edition Of Unmuffled

On Episode 137 of Unmuffled we have a special storytellers edition with Shawn Waddell of Waddell Communications. Waddell has been around the sport for decades, worked with some of the biggest names in the sport and has become part of the fabric of short track racing across the Northeast and beyond. We take a deep dive with Shawn into his history in the sport, the evolution he’s seen during his time in racing and racing communications and much more.

Episode 137 of Unmuffled is presented by our Patreon marketing partners from New England Racing Fuel, Swanson Buick/GMCLifeCare Family Chiropractic, Mid-State Site Development, Monaco Ford, SAFCO Foam, Broad Brook Brewing Company, Tick Mike’s Organic Tick & Mosquito Spray, Mid-State Site Development, Monaco Modified Tri-Track Series, Compressed Air USA, Hoosier Tire EastMidState Compressor, Casagrande Builders, Falmouth Ready Mix, Wheelers Auto, Rent A Race Car New England, Sign Pro, North End Auto PartsMagna Steel Sales, JDV Productions, NASCAR, New Hampshire Motor SpeedwayRiverhead Raceway, Stafford Motor Speedway and Thompson Speedway.


  1. Pretty sure I’ve heard most every Unmuffled episode, if not it’s close. A handful stick out as particularly memorable. This episode definitely in the top 5 or 10.
    If you’re a fan of local racing you hear the name Waddell Communications all the time. Probably know the guy is the lead player in linking drivers to spotters, race control and crew chiefs. What you might not know is how deep the Shawn Waddell well is when it comes to local racing.
    Ears perked up right at the start referencing Vassar and Stakey and how tough that era was racing in the early to mid 80’s a time near and dear to my heart. Otherwise it was one of those interviews where you kind of introduce subjects but don’t get hung up on specific answers. He’s got so much good stuff in his head and likes to talk you just let him run in whatever direction he wants to go and odds are it’s going to be interesting. Dropping so many names, events, tracks, series all with first hand experience as a long time spotter I was hanging on every word. Insider views of many drivers we all know but a lot of experience with Ted Christopher. Confirming what I knew but Waddell expressed so well. The guy was a jerk or if not a jerk behaved often like a jerk to many that crossed his path. At the same time was the guy Shawn Courchesne speaks so fondly of.
    Couldn’t summarize the highlights if I wanted to there were so many. The takeaway two things. First it’s pretty clear no one will be able to compete head to head with this guy. I’ll assume he knows his job very well but aside from that he travels so much, has a network of tracks, series and teams that’s so vast from decades in the sport competing would be futile. Listening to his itinerary was exhausting. Secondly he was incapable of specifically answering a couple general questions requesting he make observations about the direction of certain elements in the sport. Instead interpreting it more in terms of his own challenges. That also made sense mainly because he’s in the trenches every week being pulled in so many directions at once by so many interests in all of local racing it has to be hard to judge which way any one is going in particular. That said what he did home in on that clearly had nostalgic value also interesting and in some cases surprising.
    I’ll by lobbying for an encore interview with Shawn Waddell at some point you can bet on that.

  2. Stuart A Fearn says

    That’s good to hear Doug, I know Waddell will appreciate the feedback.

    I listened right away as well and learned a few things myself. We consider Waddell family and even then I learned a bit about his philosophy of spotting and risk taking and so forth. Found Shawn to give a good interesting interview. I’ll give you the inside iggy tho… this was the safe PG radio version of Waddell. In real life face to face it’s 10x the stories, energy, anecdotes, everything. If given a chance you have to talk to Waddell in person. Best way I guess is to be a customer.

    Waddell is 100% racer to the bone and this is why customers trust him. Very knowledgeable, trustworthy, dedicated, and considered to be the best by the best informed in the industry. Shawn was very modest for the most part but remember, it’s not bragging if you back it up.

    If your going to take away anything from this podcast it’s that Waddell is pedal to the medal every minute he’s at the track. There are 150 people with radios that want his attention and there is one of him dealing with everyone. I guess the message is think ahead and take care of your equipment and understand if it takes him a little while to get to your issue.

    Anyways, great selection of guest and the discussion was interesting and worth my hour

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