By Doug Watson
Mechanicsville, MD- A crowd of nearly 200 drivers, sponsors and track representatives assembled for the 66th annual “MARF” Banquet this past Saturday at the Mechanicsville Moose Lodge. The highlight of the evenings festivities were the annual MARF Hall of Fame inductions that were given out to seven different people.
1992 Potomac Street Stock and 1998 Late Model Champion James Adkins Jr. headed 2023’s induction list that included, National Dirt Late Model Hall of Fame and Auto Racing Club of Hagerstown inductee Rodney Franklin, former Winchester (Va) Speedway Semi Late and Roadrunner champion Steve Payne, current Winchester (Va) Speedway owner and promoter Greg Gunter, the husband and wife duo of Potomac Speedway’s Calvin and Linda Wright and the current head scorer at Maryland’s Potomac and Hagerstown Speedway’s Holly Watson.
It was an impressive list indeed, but one person in particular stood out to this writer among all the others, Holly Watson. Yours truly joined the staff of Potomac Speedway back in 1990 and five years later, my sister Holly joined the staff as well. Her first season consisted of running the tracks scoreboard but by 1996 she was soon under the guidance of Lisa Cameron Mann who was Potomac’s head scorer and track promoter Pete Cameron’s daughter at the time. A few years later Lisa stepped away from the sport and Holly graciously filled the role and the rest is history. Holly has also filled in at the Pennsylvania ovals of Bedford and Trail Way and many sanctioning bodies like, The World of Outlaw Late Model Series, Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series, the United Racing Club Sprint Cars, the ARDC Midgets, The Central Pennsylvania Sprint Car Speedweeks, the RUSH Dirt Late Model Series, the Mid Atlantic Modifieds, the Steel Block Bandits Late Model Series and the old Mid Atlantic Championship Series (MACS) Late Models.
Actual hand scoring is slowly being replaced by electronic scoring, but she feels there is still a place for it. “Sometimes computers crash, and what happens then?” She offered. “Hand scoring is more of a back up these days to the electronic systems, but I feel it is a necessary tool to ensure the accuracy at any event, in any class.”
The Hall of Fame honor was very unexpected but well deserved. With scoring at any type of event that necessitates it, there’s not much room for error, but Holly takes it all in stride. “This award is truly an honor and something I will cherish forever.” With me, it was well deserved as Holly and I travel to the races every weekend together from March to October and our time together to me is priceless….congratulations big sister!!!