Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers who have helped support racing in any way! There are mothers who work on the pit crew, feeding the crew, organizing the tools, spraying mud off, changing tires, doing all the things to keep us men straight. There are mothers who stand up for their drivers whether son or daughter, who learn the rules and ask why they are not enforced, or why their son or daughter is penalized. There are mothers who are first to the track and the last to leave either as owners or pit gate workers or scorers or officials. We are blessed with so many great mothers and mothers have helped us grow the sport. Let me take a moment to talk about some of the great mothers in racing.
The first mother I have a ton of respect for is Dee Charles. Has she and I had battles over the years, yes we have, me as an official and she as Dan’s mother and Tom’s husband. The number one thing though is she always had a love, a passion for those she supported. Was she always right – no – but we officials were not always correct either. We are human we all make mistakes. I want to add the Charles, and mainly because of Dee’s love, they have been long time supporters of the women in the sport. You have to give credit where credit is due, we would not have enjoyed Tom’s and Dan’s racing careers if not for the great woman and mother Dee Charles has been.
Wilma Claxton is another great wife and mother. She has kept many an official straight over the years with her knowledge of the rules. Not to mention keeping Gene in racing all these years but also doing her best to keep him out of trouble. As a scorer she is the best I have worked with over the years. She also found the time to raise three girls along the way.
My wife, Diana Green, has been one of the leaders of the racing community. Starting in 1993, she became president of the Central Auto Racing Boosters (C.A.R.B.), this was also the last year she competed on the racetrack. Her new role as President of C.A.R.B. has led to the annual Bowlathon, the Golf Tournament, the sold out banquets, the newsletters, the yellow pages in the annual roster, and 50 years of the Central Auto Racing Boosters book. All this while working as an official, a track secretary, and mother of our two sons and all their sports activities and now grandma to our five grandsons. She has been a leader in the racing community for years and a great mother.
New mothers to the racing scene that need to be mentioned include Nicole Noll, wife to Ed, and mother to Eddie. Her theme nights at the races is something the younger generation has brought to our sport. If you have grandchildren you know our sons and daughters are into establishing a theme, either to announce a birth, a wedding, or the sex of the baby. Nicole brings a happy face and a happy attitude to racing. She is a joy to be around.
Another mother and wife in our racing community that needs mentioned is Kyle Johnson, first she is wife of Mike Johnson, then she is mother to Austin and Houston. She is truly a giver, a giver to our sport, a giver to her husband, a giver to her boys! She jumps in feet first supporting Mike in purchasing I-35 and Lakeside Speedways and then organizing and managing the tracks while supporting her boys in the sport of racing and their high school sports. She does all this while holding a job in the federal government.
All these mothers have raised children while being involved in racing. All these mothers support their husbands, sons, and daughters in racing. None of these women are selfish they are givers, they never took the easy way and dumped a child or had someone else raise their children. They utilized racing to teach their children and support the sport. Let’s honor these mothers for who they are and be thankful we have them in our racing community. I know there are other mothers who deserve recognition, let’s ensure we know who they are and make it public knowledge.