Mary Jo Buchanan: Memories of a Motorsports Matriarch

Kara MartinSenior Analyst IMarch 27, 2017

In 1984, just one month into his professional basketball career, Sports Illustrated put Michael Jordan on its cover under the heading “A Star Is Born.”

During his 18-year career, Jordan racked up six NBA championships and countless MVP awards, proving that his star would forever shimmer a little brighter than the rest.

I could easily write an article on the many accomplishments of Michael Jordan, but the “MJ” that I’m referring to in this article has nothing to do with basketball.

Of course, everyone in the motorsports community knows exactly who I’m talking about: our own Mary Jo Buchanan, or, as she is lovingly known, “Emmmmmmmmm Jayyyyyyyyyy!”

Mary Jo has been a staple of the NASCAR community's front page for nearly a year, the matriarch if you will. Her profile, sitting in the number one writer’s position is a familiar reminder of what we as members strive for.

Her articles demand attention, because she is just that good. People from other communities stand up and take notice to a “sport they don’t even follow” based on her ability to create journalistic masterpieces time after time.

On the sporting totem pole NASCAR can be a tough avenue to follow, much less write about. Despite its claim of being in the back seat to Football as the most followed sport in America, it is one that people love to debate.

Rarely does one dabble in the art of stock car racing, you either love it or hate it. People on either side of the fence will argue to the death over their beliefs. Nobody can fight the good fight better than MJ.

Her vast knowledge of the sport is a force to be reckoned with. Come prepared for battle if you plan on challenging her. MJ will not only school you, she will present it in a manner that makes you glad that you were wrong.

She is more than a connoisseur, she is a teacher. Captivating the reader by offering up fact filled lessons through a well thought out curriculum. She is now and will always be the face of the B/R NASCAR community.

She is class personified in my book. She took me under her wing after publishing my first article nine months ago and has never faltered. She was my go to girl for advice or help, but more importantly she was there as a friend.

I knew early on just how special a person she would be in my life. Within the first couple of weeks of "meeting" on Bleacher Report, she and her husband invited me to join up with them in Dover for the race weekend.

I remember being a bit taken aback in the fact that a perfect “stranger” was offering up such hospitality. Living in a city where people seemingly go out of their way to make things miserable for thy “neighbor,” it was a refreshing change. I quickly learned that it was just MJ’s natural way, her kindness is infectious and her intentions pure.

Under her watch the NASCAR community has grown to over 1300 members. As a community leader she always led by example, producing quality original work and engaging readers in thousands of open ended conversations, proving that you always get what you give.

There will never be another just like her.

She is the star that I look towards as a guiding light to navigate me homeward, one that will forever shimmer a little brighter than the rest.

Thank you for everything that you’ve done, yours will be a tough act to follow but it is with great honor and respect that I accept the torch.

While MJ is stepping down as one of the NASCAR Community Leaders, rest assured she will still be producing high caliber content.

MJ, you are simply the best, shine on sister!

To the readers, please do not award this article POTD, it is simply a dedication to one remarkable lady!