There’s nothing like a mother’s love. It’s unconditional, supportive, and straight from the heart.
Being a mom is a full-time job plus overtime, and they don’t always get the credit they deserve. Most of us wouldn’t be where we are today without the support of our moms.
NASCAR moms are especially inspiring for the way they support their kids in one of the most dangerous sports out there, while also dealing with everything else that life throws their way.
For this special tribute to the mothers of NASCAR drivers, we’re going to look at four stories that will touch your heart.
William Byron Mom’s Heroic Battle With Cancer
William Byron and his mother Dana shared an exceptionally special moment in Victory Lane after William’s win at the 2022 Blue Emo 400 at Martinsville Speedway. It would be the Hendrick Motorsports driver’s fourth Cup Series win, but the mother-son moment was far more meaningful than a mere race-win celebration.
Exactly one year prior to the April 10 race, Dana Byron was sitting in the very same Martinsville stands cheering William on when she suffered a stroke-like event. She was diagnosed with brain cancer during the subsequent hospital visit.
The months that followed involved many cancer treatments, and Byron was there every step of the way, checking in on his mom several times a week. Despite the stressful moments, Dana urged Byron to continue focusing on his racing career.
Thanks to healthcare professionals and the support of her loving family, Dana overcame the brain cancer and has reportedly returned to full health.
Even though her and her husband Bill celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary the same weekend as this year’s Martinsville race, they still chose to go see the race atop of the pit box. According to Dana, it didn’t so much symbolize the start of her health issues, but what she managed to overcome.
The win, which William Byron of course dedicated to his mom, was just the icing on the cake. Now, that’s a Mother’s Day gift that anyone would be proud of.
Joey Logano’s Special Mother’s Day Surprise
When Joey Logano found out that he would be racing at Darlington Speedway on Mother’s Day during the 2021 season, he didn’t let that stop him from doing something extraordinary for his mom Deborah.
Instead, he set up a unique experience for her to enjoy a couple days before the holiday. Logano invited his Deborah out for lunch, but it wasn’t your typical brunch-style deal.
When she arrived, Joey was waiting behind the wheel of a Polaris RZR. After getting strapped in, they went for one hell of a ride through the forest, scaring her pretty good in the process.
Little did she know, Joey has also set up a lunch in the forest where they eventually stopped at. Once the adrenaline wore off, they had an awesome conversation looking back on old memories, chatting about the joys and stresses that come from being a mother.
Deborah even drove the RZR on their way back from lunch, making this moment even more special.
Gaye Busch Has Been a Fierce Defender of Kyle and Kurt
Kurt and Kyle Busch are as brash and outspoken as they are skilled behind the wheel of a stock car, which hasn’t always made them fan favorites. But, their mother Gaye has been in their corner since day one.
During an interview ahead of NASCAR’s Mother’s Day race in 2007, Gaye commented on what it was like for her sons to deal with the mixed reactions from NASCAR fans.
“I’ve always told my Kurt and Kyle to keep their chins up and let it roll off their shoulders, get used to it,” Gaye said. “Sorry my boys weren’t born in the South and sorry they win.” You can see where Kurt and Kyle get their confidence from!
Had it not been for the support of their mother, who knows where Kyle and Kurt would have ended up in their racing careers.
Gaye and Tom Busch took Kurt to his first race when he was just two weeks old, and Kyle attended his first race at 10 days old. The seed was planted early, but it paid off. They built Kurt his first race car when he was 15 years old, and Kyle followed suit when he was old enough.
Gaye has been fairly open about how nervous she was for her boys during their early years in racing. She’s compared it to a mother bear and her cubs. While she stays strong and urges her boys to do the same, she still worries for her children like any mother would.
Desiree Wallace Helping Bubba Through Tough Times
As the only African-American driver in the NASCAR Cup Series, Bubba Wallace has overcome many obstacles that most other drivers have never had to face. His mother Desiree has been by his side through it all.
During the 2020 season, Wallace was outspoken about the racism that had been prevalent in NASCAR for some time and was the driving force behind the sanctioning body’s decision to ban the confederate flag from all events.
Wallace’s outspokenness earned him both supporters and detractors, but the negativity surrounding his activism came to a head at Talladega Superspeedway when a garage pull fashioned into the shape of a noose was discovered in his driver’s garage. Fearful and saddened, Wallace turned to his mother for advice. He then received exactly what he needed to hear.
“The enemy will try and attack you in any form or fashion,” Desiree says she told Bubba. “So we’re going to use this as a stepping stool. God allows us to make enemies a stepping stool. They just put you on a whole other level. What is everybody talking about this morning? Bubba Wallace. We find out who it is, if you ever meet them face-to-face, say thank you.”
Desiree Wallace’s words allowed Bubba to be strong during the tough times, and with his mother’s support, Wallace has continued to be a face for positive change in NASCAR.