Becky McBride has been a fixture in the K&N Pro Series West garage for over the last two decades.
She may know the K&N Pro Series West better than anybody.
In her 21st season with NASCAR, Becky McBride can be found doing a multitude of duties not only at the racetrack, but away from it, too.
Before the season begins, McBride takes care of the hotel reservations for everybody involved in the series — for every race. On Fridays, which are typically labeled as an optional practice days for teams, she assists with registration, greeting the teams with her infectious smile.
Her race day begins by checking ignition boxes, then suspension pieces and bars with a special sonic tester. For practice, qualifying and the race, she can be found on the spotter’s stand, where nearly every eye in the sky greets her with a smile. Once the checkered flag flies, she assists with postrace technical inspection, focusing on one specific car, until they’re cleared.
As if that wasn’t enough, it doesn’t begin to scratch the surface of what McBride has done.
“I actually started in scoring because there was a time where it wasn’t electronic,” McBride said. “We actually did it with pen and paper. That was very very different than the way we do it today. That’s where I started, I came into the series in the scoring department before technology took over.”
She recalled working for NASCAR Hall of Famer Jack Roush as a scorer for West Coast races, where she got her first real taste of working in the sport.
“Through my contacts, they hired me for all the West Coast races. I was working anything from the Mississippi River west,” she said. “There were a lot of West Coast girls that were able to work for these teams that came from the East Coast because it saved them travel money. And that started back in the early 1980s. They were calling us and saying, ‘We’re coming to Riverside and we need scorers,’ so I’d gather up all my girlfriends and we’d go to the racetrack and score for these East Coast teams.”
But McBride’s racing roots run deeper. At the age of 3, she began going weekly to Cajon Speedway in California to watch her uncle race. When the track needed help with some refurbishing, she volunteered her services.
“They were only going to paint one side of the grandstands,” she recalled. “And I said, ‘I’ll paint the other side because that’s where I sit with my friends.’ They said OK, so we came the next weekend, painted the west side grandstands where I sat. That’s where it started.”
And it took off from there. From her teenage years to her 20s and beyond, she enjoyed three full decades working at Cajon, a period of time she couldn’t help but smile thinking about.
“I did pretty much every job you could do at Cajon, and that’s where I really learned the operations of a racetrack,” she explained. “They always said I was born in a paint can because I literally started my first job at the track painting an entire side of the grandstands at a short track. It took off from there, and I worked there for 30 years. (They were) definitely the best years of my life so far.”
In her 20-plus years with NASCAR, McBride has worked as an official in all three national series. After dipping her toe in different levels, she’s settled in where she wants to be for the long haul.
Better yet, it’s where she says she needs to be.
“What I absolutely love in my heart is grassroots,” she said. “My heart is with the grassroots guys, the guys that want to go forward. I love being a part of that story. There are drivers that have huge dreams, and I love being the part of the beginning of that story. I’d rather be there.”
If you’re able to find a human being who has a bad thing to say about Becky McBride, they’re probably lying. Anybody and everybody she comes into contact with raves about her infectious personality, positivity and smile.
A native of Lakeside, California, McBride pointed to three legends who’ve experienced some of the most intense emotions on and off track in racing that inspired her.
“People that are very inspirational to me are Rick Carelli, Ernie Irvan and Bobby Allison,” she said. “They’ve had horrific things go on in their racing careers, and you still see them a a track. It didn’t deter them at all. They love racing. The highs and lows in racing that we see, you have to know it in your heart and blood. You can’t wait to see your racing family.”
McBride has just so happened to work with all of them very closely. She worked in the Southwest Tour while Carelli was a young racer and sees him on the Cup spotters stand from time to time, watched Irvan race at Stockton 99 Speedway while working for her first Winston West team and had Allison’s hauler for her family’s sportsman team that raced at Cajon.
Nobody, though, has made more of an impact on McBride than her mother, Rosie.
“My biggest hero is my mom,” she said. “She actually drove a race car, she loved racing. Her brother built her her own car back in the early 1970s. She had her own car and actually had a guy drive it during the non-powder puff week. She only drove maybe once a month, and she had a guy drive it on the off weekends. He bought tires and gas. She was kind of the original rent-a-ride.”
Rosie suffers from polio, which has hindered her physical abilities. That hasn’t stopped her from spending time with her daughter and getting back to the place she feels most at home: the racetrack.
“She comes to any races she can now,” McBride said. “She lost her mobility to walk about three years ago, but she has a driver who brings her to any track she can get to. And she absolutely still loves racing, still watches it on TV. I feel like she inspires a lot of people in racing to never give up. She never complains and she loves racing. She has so many people who are inspired by her when she’s at the racetrack.”
Drivers, crew members, sponsors, officials, tracks, media, they all come and go. Working in the K&N Pro Series West since 1981, it’s no secret that McBride has been able to develop friendships with a plethora of the people she’s worked with. Something she says is essential to happiness.
“It’s about the people you have relationships with,” she said. “It’s really not about the racing. That’s the bonus. You don’t go to work to work. You go for fellowship, relationships and building your personality.”
As for her legacy? She just wants to return what’s been given to her throughout all these years.
“I really believe if you surround yourself with good people, you have a responsibility to leave people better than you found them,” she said. “I have been so blessed. I really always say I think I’m the most loved person in the world because I get so much love given, I have to give it back. I truly believe that.”
Source: Read Full Article