One day I was at the local post office when someone standing next to me asked where he should put his out-of-state mail. I turned around to see Jamie McMurray. I acted ever so casual but did decide to pay a compliment to his driving.
See, living in Mooresville is no different than living in LA, only instead of seeing movie stars and acting cool we see racing celebrities and act cool. I’ve had breakfast a table away from Matt Kennseth , seen Casey Mears and Greg Biffle at a local coffee shop, am a member of a women’s club with the Busch brother’s grandmother…and at our local 5-Guys Hamburgers (THE BEST HAMBURGERS AND FRIES) they have menus signed by Dale Jr., Kasey Kahne, and a slew of other drivers.
When you live is a town the size of Mooresville which is home to 60 Motorsport teams, the North Carolina Auto Racing Hall of Fame, the NASCAR Technical Institute and “scores of drivers” racing becomes intertwined in our lives in many different ways. If you are a race fan, then Mooresville could be your Mecca. But, if you aren’t into racing you won’t feel out of place at all. You will hardly notice any of these signs:
Doesn’t everyone have Live Pit Stop Demonstrations at their ice cream shop?
A lot of my clients work for race teams, from tire changers to engineers. If you go to the DMV to get your license plates you will see Dale Earnhart autographed memorabilia on the back wall.
At the Chamber of Commerce our Special Projects Coordinator has an office full of her prized racing collection. Dale Jr. went to Mooresville High School. Like I said, it’s just part of life here.
As a board member of The Exchange SCAN (Stop Child Abuse Now)/CAP (Child Parenting Center) Non-Profit organization www.iredellscan.org, my life has become intertwined with the best part of the racing community because I witness the incredible generosity on so many levels and in so many ways.
Way back in 1989 Stocks for Tots was created “as a way to bring stock car racing into the Mooresville community on a hands on basis” by the President of Penske South, Don Miller, and race car driver Rusty Wallace. They decided to hold an event every December for the fans in order to collect toys and raise money for the SCAN center. Race celebrities from the area have given generously of their holiday time to sign autographs for the fans who either donated a toy or money to get in line ever since. www.stocksfortots.com.
This past December I had the privilege of being a part of the Stocks For Tots Committee Co-Chaired by Don Miller and John Moloney, General Manager of Penkse Technology; two of the most hard working and generous people you could ever meet.
The event’s grown so big that it is now being held in Downtown Mooresville. Last year we had 41 drivers/TV personalities and crew chiefs signing autographs, including Dale Jr., Ryan Newman, Denny Hamlin, Rusty, Mike and Steve Wallace, Kurt Busch, Greg Biffle, Carl Edwards, Mike Joy, Larry McReynolds to name a few.
The drivers and race teams also donated sheet metal and other items for an incredible live auction!
Thanks to these great events we were able to open a second SCAN/CAP center in Mooresville. This is the ribbon cutting attended by our Mayor, Congresswoman Karen Ray, Don Miller President of Penske South and drivers Ryan Newman and J.J. Yeley (who gave us a check for $2750 right on the spot!). It was actually quite funny because Don Miller gave Ryan a very hard time for wearing jeans to the event.
I really intended this blog to be strictly about racing and Mooresville but once I started I realized I wanted to share what the racing industry has meant to me and my Mooresville community. It really ends up being about nice people giving generously of their time to help those less fortunate. That’s why I love living in Race City USA.