It’s tradition in NASCAR to not race on Mother’s Day, though that rule was bent Saturday as the SpongeBob SquarePants 400 at Kansas Speedway ended in early Sunday morning.
Since they’re not racing, many NASCAR drivers have shared pictures, memories and loving sentiments of their mother’s on social media. But Ricky Stenhouse Jr. went one step further.
The Roush Fenway Racing driver wrote a guest column for the Kansas City Star about his mother, Lisa Stenhouse. He describes her as “my biggest fan” and an important part of his development as a person and a driver.
“You could say she’s seen more of my career than I have,” he writes. “Yes, my mom really is my biggest fan. Literally. She has shown me unconditional love, well before I was a professional race car driver. And she’s never needed to tell me she is my biggest fan. It’s always been obvious.”
Stenhouse describes growing up in Olive Branch, Miss., a town located well outside the “heartland” of NASCAR territory between Daytona Beach, Fla., and Charlotte, N.C., and how difficult it was to find support there for his dream auto racing.
Writes Stenhouse: “While I spent countless hours with my dad in our family garage, talking and learning about cars, it was my mom who kept me focused and motivated, showing me the life lessons I needed to pursue my dreams. Being like any competitive young man growing up, I no doubt made mistakes pursuing my dreams. But my mom was always the first person to show me the right path forward.”
Stenhouse says it’s a common theme among his fellow competitors.
“In many instances, just like mine, moms have been the motivational and infinitely supportive force driving us toward our goals,” Stenhouse writes, going on to mention the Twitter hashtag “NASCARwithMom” as a way for the sport’s drivers and fans to share their experiences with their mothers.