NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers are gearing up for Mother’s Day, next weekend, at Darlington Raceway in Darlington, SC. The Bojangles’ Southern 500 will be held on Saturday, May 11. Having a Saturday Sprint Cup race gives drivers the chance to spend Sunday with the special women in their lives…their mothers.
This weekend, at Talladega Superspeedway, NASCAR drivers are speaking out about how their mothers have loved them, supported them, have influenced their careers, and their plans for the upcoming Mother’s Day.
Michael Waltrip discussed what he has learned from his mom over the years. He said, “She was a hardworking woman. When I was a kid I was the fifth of five and my dad worked at the Pepsi plant and she was a cashier lady at the IGA and so I would go to the IGA and I would have a dollar and I would try to buy $3 worth of stuff and get there and tell her that I needed that stuff. She was probably making $2 an hour and it wasn’t really fair for me to think I needed that, but I didn’t know much so I just told her to write a check. I saw she had some in her purse. I’m appreciative of who she was and how even though my mom and dad worked eight to ten hours a day, I felt loved. I had a home, it was clean and it felt like where I belonged. My mom is 86 now and we had a birthday dinner Monday night in Cornelius (N.C.) at Red Rocks and she’s just as sweet and as spry as ever. She’s physically a little bit off, but mentally she’s strong and loving and caring. I just want to feel loved—if I’m a kid I just want to know my parents love me and I’m fortunate I had that. I hope everybody gets that and I know they don’t and that sucks.”
When Michael Waltrip Racing driver, Clint Bowyer, was asked what his mom means to his career, he responded, “Oh, mom—everything. She’s been with me and is usually at every race track. Missing it this weekend. Definitely be there next weekend. It’s always fun to have her here. I’m telling you, she’s a racer. She wants to win and she’s going to tell you, ‘You’re doing wrong—shape up,’ when you need it and she’s going to tell you, ‘Proud of you,’ and, ‘You did a good job, when she’s proud of you. Just a neat lady and we all enjoy her.”
NASCAR’s most popular driver, Dale Earnhardt Jr., has special plans with his mother this Mother’s Day. He said, “Yeah, we’re going to cook a brisket together. I just started. I bought Myron Mixon’s book, that guy from the show, BBQ Pitmasters, and I’m trying to learn how to barbeque (laughter). So we’re going to cook us a brisket and see how that goes. So, yeah, that’s going to be Mother’s Day for me. She lives 100 yards from me. We took her to lunch this week. I like sushi a lot and I just got her to where she’ll eat some of that. So we went and took her to lunch this week and got a haircut and just typical, normal stuff.”
Last week’s Toyota Owners 400 winner, Kevin Harvick, will be celebrating Mother’s Day with his wife, Delana, who gave birth to their first child this past year. When asked if he has any special plans for Mother’s Day now that Delana is a mom, and how much of a help his mom has been to get him where he is today, he responded, “My biggest plan is to not screw up Sunday in the first year. You don’t want to screw up the first Mother’s Day. My main objective is to make sure that you have the gift pre-week, and don’t forget to hand it out on Sunday. Obviously, my Mom has always been there. Always been supportive of everything I do. That is something you don’t want to forget as well. You want to make sure you don’t forget on either front.”
Mother’s Day 2013 is a day that NASCAR drivers can shift focus from the fierce competition of the sport to paying tribute to their mothers and the mothers of their children.