When the new qualifying format for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway was announced, I didn’t think much of it. It was great for the pit crews who would deservedly be put in the spotlight since the Pit Crew Challenge had been cancelled and the speed on pit road had no set limit, which made everyone nervous.
I never thought a set of rules would change my life.
Several weeks earlier, I left my job working on the brand new NASCAR Digital News team that relaunched NASCAR.com and was going to head out of town to figure out what was next for me. It was conveniently close to the 10 Greatest Days of Racing at the speedway where I had previously worked, and before I left town, I asked them if they needed any help so I could have some extra money. Turns out they needed help and luckily, I hadn’t packed my SMI polos just yet.
With moving boxes halfway packed and my apartment no longer near the track, I began my first day answering phones, cleaning, running errands and taking over the Twitter and Instagram accounts for the weekend. That was my job for both weekends – go to the cool events, take pictures and send them to the fans around the world. One of those cool events was the new qualifying session.
It was a crazy scene. Pit boxes and their crews were lined up on one side of the garage and the car, driver and one crew member on the other. The crew chiefs were standing on top of the pit box to save time climbing up. The boxes moved in a flow similar to that of a stage production. At one point, I noticed the seats hadn’t been put on the boxes yet and all the crew chiefs were standing. One had been put in line backwards and the crew turned the box around, crew chief on top. It looked like a figure skating routine.
I headed out to the best seats in the house, which at the time were the newly-built pit road suites. I found Atlanta Motor Speedway‘s Marcy Scott and Brittany Lofton. They were enjoying the view and I was taking pictures for the track. In order to upload pictures, I had to go to the media center. Marcy told me to wait a few minutes, sit and enjoy the view.
That conversation would be the last one we shared.
Cars were flying by and drivers were forgetting to brake as she asked about my mom, who was battling leukemia at the time. Marcy was great at timing, asking questions as the driver left pit road so I could answer by the time they got back. I asked her how I could be a better daughter. I didn’t know what to do sometimes without hurting her feelings, which I did, and wasn’t sure how. What could I do for her when she got home? Is there better food I can give her? Do I stop her tears from coming with comedy or do I let it all come out?
Marcy, someone who I saw maybe twice a year and was the first person to interview me for a job in the industry, was using her battle to help my mom battle hers as well as my own internal battle. It was something so special and I feel blessed, as I assume anyone who knew her, did.
I’m sure there are more people in the industry who spent more time with her and have stories that would take a lifetime to share. I could add even more to this story but some things are meant to be personal. In a wonderful yet bittersweet moment, I discovered my mom – now in remission – and I walk for Leukemia and Lymphoma Society on/around the day she passed away. Other causes are welcome to the walk and this year, our team made shirts showing our honor to her and her family, who wore them during their day of celebrating Marcy’s life.
Every year, we’ll all celebrate her life. Now at Atlanta Motor Speedway, media members write in the Marcy Scott Media Center and celebrate her with each story they write or picture they edit or PR release they hand out.
“Live each day with complete utter joy and let go of petty annoyances and disagreements is a great mantra. Let that be my gift to you – to love with every fiber of your being to all walks of life. Look for the good in people. It will astound you.” Marcy Scott
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