Saturday, May 11, 2013

NASCAR moms get their due



Special guest Stephanie Decker will join the moms of the Sprint Cup Series drivers in saying the command to start engines for Southern 500

DARLINGTON, S.C.  – With its annual event falling on Mother’s Day weekend, Darlington Raceway has built a longtime tradition with its NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles’ Southern 500 race.

Each year, the grand marshals for the race have been the moms of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers, a tradition that fans, drivers and their families have enjoyed over the last several years.

“This is a fun and unique opportunity each year for Darlington Raceway and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers to honor their moms on Mother’s Day weekend,” Darlington Raceway President Chris Browning said. “This weekend makes Darlington Raceway a special place to be for not only for the drivers, but for the fans that are attending the races and spending time with their moms as well. It gives everyone a chance to honor their mothers at this special Mother’s Day weekend event.”

The moms will once again say the command to start engines for this weekend’s race, but will also be joined by a special honorary mom, Stephanie Decker, who has her own story of courage and perseverance to tell.

Decker will join the likes of driver’s moms, including Carol Bickford (Jeff Gordon), Gaye Busch (Kurt & Kyle Busch), Tammy Kahne (Kasey Kahne), Beverly Ragan (David Ragan), Janna Bowyer (Clint Bowyer), Kay Keselowski (Brad Keselowski), Brenda Jackson (Dale Earnhardt Jr.), Mary Lou Hamlin (Denny Hamlin) and Carol Mears (Casey Mears), among others.

Decker, a resident of Henryville, Ind., was injured shielding two of her children from a devastating tornado that hit their home in March of 2012. Decker lost the use of both of her legs in the incident and now utilizes prosthetics to walk on.

Her up-hill battle to walk again was a national news story of courage, leading to the creation of the Stephanie Decker Foundation, supporting prosthetics for kids and access to leading-edge prosthetics for every person.

“As a parent we would do anything to take away the pain and hurt from our children. Since this accident I have many times told people that if I can replace the bad memories of March 2, 2012, with good memories for them then that's exactly what I am going to do,” Decker said. “We are so excited to visit Darlington Raceway and become part of the NASCAR family! We love what NASCAR represents and how they are stepping up to support the Stephanie Decker Foundation and spread our message.”

For more information on the Stephanie Decker Foundation or to inquire about having her share her inspirational story as a motivational speaker, visit

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