Monday, September 10, 2012

Women in NASCAR Presents: Jacquelyn Butler

Jacquelyn Butler, fiance of NASCAR Sprint Cup driver David Ragan.
Photo Credit: Charlotte Bray/Skirts and Scuffs
A beautiful Southern Belle met her Southern Prince Charming by taking a leap of faith.

Jacquelyn Butler, fiancé of NASCAR Sprint Cup driver David Ragan, was gracious enough to sit down with Skirts and Scuffs at Atlanta Motor Speedway to give our readers a little insight on the path that has led her to meet the love of her life, best friend and future husband.

The story begins here …


Southern Belle

Jacquelyn Ann Butler was born and raised in Greenwood, SC, which is located approximately two and a half hours southwest of Charlotte, NC. She has one older brother who was born in Detroit, MI whereas she was born in Greenwood, SC due to their parents moving to the South to start their own business. "It’s a small town where everybody knows everybody and it was great growing up there.”

Jacquelyn attended both private school, where her mother was a teacher, and public school where she played a variety of sports throughout her early school days, including softball (one year), golf (one year), soccer (15 years) and tennis for a few years.

Her uncle first introduced Jacquelyn to racing while she was in middle school because he watched it on a consistent basis. Additionally, her babysitter was a huge NASCAR supporter and die-hard Jeff Gordon fan, so she became a young fan as well. “Because she loved Jeff Gordon, I loved Jeff Gordon because I thought it was the coolest thing a little girl did,” said Butler. It was fascinating to find out that she dressed up as Jeff Gordon on Halloween one year – outfit, socks, scrunchie and etc.

Moving forward through her high school years and upon graduation, Jacquelyn was faced with the decision about what she wanted to do in the near future. Just like many young adults, she had to think about whether she wanted to go to college, join the military or work in the family business.

She has a cousin that moved to Charlotte, started working as a PR at Roush Fenway Racing and who is the main reason that Jacquelyn decided to make the move to North Carolina. “Most of our family (referring to her brother, cousin and cousin’s siblings) all went to Clemson. I just wanted to get out, meet new people and go to a different city. I decided to go there only knowing her.”

Humble beginnings and a choice to branch outside of South Carolina led Jacquelyn to meet her soul mate …
David Ragan and fiance Jacquelyn Butler during opening ceremonies before the AdvoCare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Photo Credit: Charlotte Bray/Skirts and Scuffs
Love At First Sight?

Jacquelyn explained that she was very shy in high school and wasn’t really concerned about having a long-term boyfriend because she was focused on her schoolwork as well as sports. However, things changed for her once she entered college. In her freshman year and first month of school at the University of North Carolina, David stopped by her cousin’s house to pick up a helmet and mentioned that he was heading to a powder puff game that his friend was playing in at her school.

In her own words, Jacquelyn describes to us about how she let down her guard and took a leap of faith to meet the man of her dreams. “I got his number and actually pursued him, which I was shocked that I did. I just remember that he was the just the skinniest guy and I didn’t think that I would like that. But for some reason, I did like it - he was tall, slim and athletic. So, I pursued him and that is kind of where it started. Just really you know – he is a hot guy and has the best personality!" (There was an exceptionally huge smile on Jacquelyn’s face as she talked – you could see how much she loves her fiancé)

I asked the soon-to-be Mrs. Ragan if it was love at first sight and she said, "I think at the time it would have been weird to say that I was going to marry him so I feel like our love grew gradually. Everything was so new with the racing and him – a whole new world. I didn’t know what I was getting myself into at the time. Now, after six years together, I don’t know any different and it would be weird going back to everyday life.”

There are some couples that have similar hobbies and interests along with their own individual hobbies and interests – Jacquelyn and David are no exception in this area. Although she informed me that both of them are very competitive in their own right, there are a number of activities they enjoy doing together. Some of the outdoor activities that they love to do as a couple include fishing, mowing the grass, riding road bikes, tennis and watching movies at home. They also own some very unique pets. “We have two miniature donkeys and four fainting goats. They are our babies.”   

Soul mates, best friends, along with years of happiness is leading this dynamic couple to the next phase in their lives together ...
Jacquelyn Butler being interviewed by Skirts and Scuffs Media Rep Unique Hiram.
Photo Credit: Charlotte Bray/Skirts and Scuffs
Leading Up to the Big Day

Jacquelyn and David will wed in approximately three months on December 15, 2012 in Charlotte, followed by their reception at an undisclosed location before a weeklong honeymoon. She shared that the planning process has not been too stressful since there has been at least one year to get everything finalized. Yes, David was involved in the initial planning stages (e.g. venue, guest list) and as any normal groom-to-be would, he let his lovely fiancé handle everything after that point.

I asked Jacquelyn to tell us a little bit about the proposal and she shared the following: “I love surprises and he doesn’t and so he never really does surprises. The off-season was a tough one because he wasn’t signed with anybody and it was very emotional going through not knowing about the next year. My birthday is on December 9th, we were planning on going to the Biltmore (in Asheville, NC) but something came up and we had to cancel our plans. He had to meet with one of the potential teams the day that we were supposed to leave.”

Upon David’s return from his meeting the next day, he took Jacquelyn to one of the luxury hotels in the downtown Charlotte area for an overnight stay and they ordered up room service, which included her favorite tuna dish on ice. “We were just sitting there so I was okay like what is next – do you want to go walk around or look outside the windows? I didn’t know what to do.” Because her soon-to-be fiancé (within a matter of minutes) was stalling for time, Jacquelyn began to fiddle a little – picking up her dish – and there was her engagement ring sitting in the ice.

Of course, we know that when couples decide to get married friends and family who've already taken that beautiful step are always ready to give advice. Jacquelyn and David have been given advice by two NASCAR couples - but not necessarily on being married. “We are good friends with Carl Edwards, just meeting Kate when they got married and when they had kids. They've told us to wait before having children a little bit. Michelle and David Gilliland, they are really great and have given advice on how many people we should have at the wedding. Nothing really on being married because I feel that after six years, we are already married and nothing is really going to change.” 

As we know there can be many misconceptions about drivers and their lives, so before ending the interview, I wanted to give Jacquelyn an opportunity to share what she felt that the public needed to know about her and David. “We are just so low key and David is not controversial. We are just really laid back.”

In regards to the NASCAR lifestyle, she had this to say, “You just have to remember that we are human and there is a lot that goes on behind the scenes. Life goes on and we are just normal people living in the spotlight.”

Jacquelyn and David have definitely been on a predestined path that has led them to each other and they are enthusiastically looking forward to moving into the next phase of their lives. This couple is definitely a match made in heaven and a great example of TRUE LOVE.

Official Twitter Accounts: Jacquelyn Butler and David Ragan
Official David Ragan Website, click here.
Official David Ragan Facebook Fan Page, click here.

If you will be at Charlotte Motor Speedway in October, be sure to check out the Better Half Dash which will feature defending champion, Jacquelyn Butler, in her attempt to capture a second win for this annual event. For further details, click here.

I would like to personally thank Jacquelyn for taking out the time to speak with me during a very busy race weekend in Atlanta. Also, I would like to wish the happy couple the BEST with their upcoming nuptials.


Unique Hiram is an Associate Editor/Contributing Writer/Media Rep for Skirts and Scuffs. Additionally, she is also the author of "Fast Lane Poetry" which was published April 2011. Unique can be contacted via email or through Twitter.

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