NASCAR and Mother’s Day: Drivers dote on their mothers

05/10/2014 5:50 PM

05/10/2014 5:50 PM

• BRAD KESELOWSKI:

“My mom was as selfless as they come, and she would do anything for my dad’s (racing career). She helped me in a lot of ways, as a mother, which was great, and also as a spotter when I first got started, and to this day, I would say she could probably out-spot half the Cup guys out there right now. She’s really good at it.”

• DALE EARNHARDT JR.:

“My parents split up when I was really young, but no matter where I was, I was around a race car, which I really appreciated. She had a hard time giving up custody of me and Kelly to my father in 1981. She just knew we would have better opportunities and a better life in that situation. She has a great sense of humor and is very sarcastic, and I really appreciate that. If you want an honest opinion and you want the truth, even if you don’t want to hear it, your mom is the best person to go to She had a huge influence on me becoming a Washington (NFL) fan, which I really appreciate to this day.”

• TONY STEWART:

“She’s a pretty patient woman. Anyone that could actually raise me and not want to kill me or kick me out of the house has got to be a very patient person. That’s my mom. She’s a very patient lady with a great heart, and she’s really good with people.”

• JAMIE McMURRAY:

“She taught me first off, how important getting an education was. She was a schoolteacher. And my mom was really conservative and good at saving money and not wasting things, and that has rubbed off on me. I’ve been that way my whole life. That’s from her and listening to her and just doing what she did when she was raising us.”

• JEFF GORDON:

“She would drive in the quarter midgets Mother’s Day race every year and finished second every year because the woman who always won used to race quarter midgets. We didn’t give her a fast enough car … or she was at a disadvantage from an experience standpoint. But she did great.”

• KURT BUSCH:

“She made so many sacrifices. The older I get, the more I realize how many she gave. She worked at the school district for the schools where Kyle and I went. It’s as if she took a second job so Kyle and I could have more tires and gas to race our cars.”

• JIMMIE JOHNSON:

“My personality and the way I treat others, even the way I compete, reflects my mom. She’s a respectful person and treats others how they treat you; a lot of those things from my mother’s personality show through. Mother’s Day is a special day; especially now being a parent and understanding that a little bit better. It makes me reflect back and think about all the times I was traveling the country in a 1979 Ford Econoline van with a little 12-foot trailer behind it towing motorcycles. I can’t imagine parents taking off weeks at a time to take me to Oklahoma to race dirt bikes or to Tennessee or to Las Vegas. All the sacrifices they made were pretty awesome.”

• CARL EDWARDS:

“As I get older, I realize how important parenting is. I am very, very fortunate. The one thing both of my parents did that really means the most is they really, truly made me believe that whatever it is I wanted to do, I could go do. At times, I thought, that sounds good, but they’re just saying that. But it’s true. You have to have people like that behind you.”

• ARIC ALMIROLA:

“My mom was very supportive of my racing, all the way until I told her I was quitting college to move to North Carolina to go racing. She made me promise I would go back to school and take classes and get my degree, which I have yet to do. She helped me pack all my stuff in college and drove me to North Carolina when I moved. She’s always been a huge fan of the sport because her dad raced, and she grew up around the race track.”

• RICKY STENHOUSE JR.:

My mom has been carrying me around the race track since I was 5, 6 weeks old. My dad raced, she grew up not really in racing but once she met my dad, she was around it all the time. My dad and I would spend lots of hours in the shop, and she’d bring lunches and dinners out to the shop while we worked. She’s a big supporter. It’s pretty cool to have a family that loves it as much as I do.”

• KYLE LARSON:

“My mom pretty much followed my life with a video camera. She maintained my web site when I was growing up racing go-karts. She videotaped every race I ran. My dad got her hooked on it when they were teenagers. She’s probably the biggest fan in our family.”

• MARTIN TRUEX JR.:

“My mom is a big part of who I am. She used to drive me to the race track when I was racing go-karts. My dad raced cars, and he would be away on the weekend doing his thing, and I needed a way to get to the race track. So she would help me load my go-kart in the back of the pickup truck, help me unload it and then I was on my own. “

• BRIAN VICKERS: “The fact that she allowed me to race was a big step and probably the most important one. It’s got to be tough for a mother. I don’t know what that experience is. I have a sister with kids, and I can see how protective she is of them. The notion of letting a 6, 7-year-old get in a go-kart has to be really tough. Moms want to see their children do something they love and be happy and succeed at it, but that motherly protection instinct has got to be a constant internal battle for a mom. But she’s been so supportive throughout my entire career, and I can’t thank her enough for it.”

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