The Matriarch

By Terri Ketterman
We all have a mother. Some of us have a few; a step-mom, a mother-in-law, an adoring aunt. Hopefully, at least one of them has had a profound positive influence on us. She’s taught you wrong from right; made sure you behaved, and played nicely with others. She’s helped you understand how to share your space with the world. When you were wrong, or pushed the limit, or stepped too far out of line, Mom brought you back down to earth with a hard cold dose of reality. She did the dirty work Dad somehow didn’t have the guts to do.
It was a while in coming, but I’ve reached a peace with the loss of Labor Day as a NASCAR tradition. I tend to be a bit philosophical anyway, and after a few years, I’ve realized that Darlington on Mother’s Day is really quite appropriate. I have to admit, it really hit home for me just yesterday, watching Kurt Busch smack the wall during practice. I chuckled to myself, and although it may be too late to have a profound affect on him, I couldn’t help but wonder if the Lady In Black wasn’t doing her part to put him in line, to send him a message on behalf of those of us with maternal instincts.
No matter what, you love your Mom. She brought you into the world, nurtured you, protected you, doled out tough love when you didn’t think you need it. She can’t stay young forever, and at some point, you start taking care of her more than she takes care of you. Darlington certainly helped to bring NASCAR into the world and nurtured it with thrilling events and wonderful traditions. I’m glad we’re taking care of her now, and we need to keep it up. With a little love, a lot of respect, and some undying devotion, she will be a NASCAR matriarch forever.