Written by Brandon Taylor
The Woodbridge Kart Club Board of Directors, race officials, and members mourn the loss of Charles Town, West Virginia native, Dale Ferril. Dale lost his battle with cancer at 5:30am on Monday after being recently hospitalized due to a lung infection. He was most recently at our last event in August and told me that he had planned on returning to his post of head flagman for the 2023 racing season after a couple of years of hiatus for dealing with health issues. He was joyful, energetic, and looking forward to rejoining the club as he was as encouraged as the rest of us by our steadily increasing participation and packed paddock area.
Dale began his career with the Woodbridge Kart Club nearly 15 years ago as a corner worker, primarily in turn 10, for the first three years of my tenure as race director. When our then flagman, Wayne Kagey, didn’t return the next year, we were in a void we hadn’t experienced since the retirement of WKA Hall of Famer and WKC legend, Arnold Heflin.
Dale volunteered to give it a shot and had on-the-job training with me the first weekend of the season. He never looked back. He fulfilled his duties with pride and is one of the most loyal colleagues and friends I have ever worked with at a kart race. He and his good friend, Mike Stringfellow (former WKC corner worker and race control), formed a duo that I have never trusted more. We had four awesome events together at the WKA Road Racing World Championships at Daytona from 2011-2014 among various other road racing events around the country.
Outside of his stint with kart racing, Dale was a legend in the flagging ranks of SCCA, MARRS, and probably anything else that had wheels that went around Summit Point Raceway since the early 1980’s. Some of his flagging accomplishments include Novice Flagger of the Year in 1984, Flagman of the Year in 1985 and 2007, founding member of the Bald Flaggers of America, and Pit Worker of the Year for 2022. He also served as the DC Region Flag Chief and was the Assistant Flag Chief for numerous PCA weekends and most recently working directly for Summit Point Motorsports Park doing everything from flagging to locking up the gates at the end of an event. Outside of his flagging, he also enjoyed racing and achieved wins and place awards from the MARRS series.
I am thankful for the years of friendship with Dale and his loss will again leave us with a void that many, many organizations will similarly face. If you want to hear a good story about Dale, just ask Billy Shaw the next time you see him about getting on a plane to head to Daytona years ago. I’ll remember it fondly. The WKC Board of Directors sends our thoughts and prayers to Dale’s family and friends during this difficult time. God Speed, my friend, and thank you for your faithful service and dedication to the Woodbridge Kart Club.