“If I win…”

Bobby was strapped into his bandolero and ready to head out for his first race at Kingsport Speedway. We had already prayed together and I was standing next to the car waiting for the crew to push him out of his pit stall. Bobby reached his gloved hand out the window to grab my hand and I squatted down for one last “go get ’em” before he headed out. Instead, I got something totally different.

Bobby looked at me with all sincerity in his eyes and asked “If I win will we have enough money to keep racing?”

Kingsport Speedway, May 14, 2022

My momma heart broke in that moment. With an ache inside of me, I did the mom thing and said “Bud, we’ll for sure race in Hickory. You just go out there and have fun tonight.”

Then the crew pushed him out and he was ready to start the race. I watched my 13 year old son do what he loves, all the while my heart hurting to think that he felt such pressure to win and carried a weight that he shouldn’t have to carry.

That is the reality of racing. We are not a family made of money. We are doing our best to support our 5 youngest kids in their passion of choice – horse riding, volleyball, racing, soccer, and karate. Bill and I are working parents, we budget every dollar of our income, don’t carry debt (except our mortgage), and find ways to make what we do have stretch as far as we can.

We are so very grateful for Keen Parts and how they have supported Bobby’s start in bandolero racing. Thom and TJ are incredible supporters of grassroots racing and got Bobby started through sponsoring the 2021 Summer Shootout and 2022 Winter Heat. We couldn’t have gotten Bobby in a bandolero without them. We have done our best to stretch those sponsorship dollars as far as possible.

JWMotorsports helps us do that by repairing parts when possible (rather than replacing body panels). Josh Williams and his guys are incredible (one crew member even worked through a painful kidney stone this weekend). We couldn’t do this without them. We’re skipping practice days to save on those fees and hotel costs and reduce the possibility of wrecks/damage. We are doing our best to keep Bobby racing. One anonymous sponsor stepped up, allowing Bobby to race a little bit more.

Without more sponsorship, however, Hickory Speedway on May 28th could very likely be Bobby’s last race.

He is currently 2nd in the points standing for his series. In his own words, you can read Bobby explain why he loves racing. He’s been pushing race cars since he was a preschooler, can accurately draw from memory almost every track on the NASCAR circuit, and knows the history of the sport (old school drivers), not just the current phenoms. He’s a well-rounded kid too. Bobby has straight A’s in school, plays the saxophone in band (sitting 2nd chair), is actively involved in church youth group, and still publically shows love to his momma! (A rare thing for teen boys.) Bobby is the kind of youth driver that needs your support, will be a good representative for your company, and will be good for the sport of racing. He doesn’t cuss, doesn’t get in trouble, and is respectful of his competitors.

Darlington Speedway, May 2012

Each weekend of racing is about $150 in race day fees (that is just the check to the race series). We also have the weekend cost for the car, plus parts if anything gets wrecked/broken. If we can get enough sponsorship, we’d love to cover the practice day (which is another $50 plus hotel fees for most race weekends). Currently, our family budget covers gas and food (although if we had sponsorship to cover that it would help too). Bobby saved up birthday money and earnings from small jobs for a family friend and purchased his own helmet. The 2022 season membership/license is already covered.

There are 7 races remaining races in the 2022 Southeast Super Trucks series, plus the 10 races of Summer Shootout. We’d love to have Bobby race as many of those as possible. We need sponsorship to make that happen. We need your help. If you want to be a “Race Fan” and give to cover weekend entry fees, be a primary weekend sponsor and have your business logo on the hood, be an associate sponsor and have your business on a rear fender, or simply be an anonymous sponsor to help a young developing driver, we’d be really grateful. And you would be making a 13 year old boy incredibly happy.

If you have read this far, thank you. Thank you for taking the time to hear Bobby’s story, our story. Thank you for supporting a young racer in whatever way you already have. If you want to sponsor upcoming races and keep Bobby in the #6 bandolero, please contact me or Bill directly (if you know our numbers) or email us at motorsports@themaresfamily.org with your questions. We’re grateful for whatever support you are able to give.


Published by Kris

Jesus follower, racing wife, mom of seven, United Methodist pastor... Trying to live a life worthy of my callings.

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