Handing Over the Steering Wheel: A Letter from Skirts and Scuffs Founder, Katy Lindamood

Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.
Dear Skirts and Scuffs Readers,

My love for NASCAR began at the age of 12. It was the 1993 Daytona 500, and for whatever reason it was on the television that day in our home in Southern Ohio. We weren't NASCAR people, but that day I learned that racing is beautiful and dangerous and that winning was exhilarating and life-altering.

From that day on I never looked back. I was the kid with notebooks of race stats. I asked for Rusty Wallace merchandise for Christmas, and unlike every other girl I knew, my walls weren't decorated with teen heartthrobs. They were covered with posters of the hottest (let me clarify -- hottest as in winningest) drivers in racing. Even the floor mats in my hand-me-down Ford Tempo were NASCAR related. My goal was to attend a race in Charlotte.

Rebecca Kivak, Unique Hiram,
Amanda Ebersole and me at the
NASCAR Hall of Fame.
These ladies were my sounding
board for so many years. Love them!
Fast forward to the Fall of 2009. Everyone who knew me was aware I was a fan of racing, but those who didn't know me well assumed it was a love I picked up from my husband (that's hysterical considering he groans every time I turn a race on), from a family member (there were some casual fans in my family, but in all honesty I think they became fans because I hadn't shut up about it for 15 years), or that I only followed racing because drivers were attractive. I was at a place in my life where I wasn't quite sure what the next step would be. I didn't have a career, I didn't have a purpose. I felt lost. What I did know was that whenever someone talked racing with me, they said things like, "Oh, I only watch because I think Dale Jr. hot," or "Did you see Kasey Kahne in that commercial? He's nice to look at."

IT MADE ME CRAZY! So what did I do? Well, with my Twitter account and some motivation from a guest blogger piece I did with a friend named Jennifer Dunn, I went to work! The first mention of what would become Skirts and Scuffs was something like, "Looking for some female race fans who are interested in sharing their love for racing." Man, I wish I could find that original post!

Darlington coverage with Charlotte Bray
and Kristen Schneider -- two incredibly
talented ladies! 
It didn't take long, and soon I was getting messages from women all over the country. They were race fans like me. Yes, some had been introduced by family and the men in their lives, but we all had one thing in common: We were fans of the racing itself. We didn't care what the drivers looked liked.

The plan was to start a website where all the contributors were female race fans. I wanted to create something that would be a springboard for budding journalists to get their name out there. But I also wanted to build a site that showed passion and a love for racing in addition to the news race fans wanted to see.

I didn't realize what I was creating, and it became something bigger than I ever dreamed. Over the last ten years of coverage, our team, which has varied in size from 12 to 21, has seen talented contributors from across the United States. We've had newspaper copy editors, published authors, retail workers, college students, magazine editors, PR business owners, nurses, DNA group project managers, homemakers,  former military personnel and photographers -- all have been part of our team at one time or another.

Lunch date with Janine Cloud
during a trip to Texas in 2018.
That woman is amazing! 
It wasn't always easy, and a lot of the time I wanted to run screaming, but I knew what we were putting out there was reaching so many people. From our "Women in NASCAR" series (which covered female drivers moving up through the ranks as well as driver spouses) to our race recaps, opinion pieces, and news updates, to our "Faith on the Frontstretch" column which pushed the boundaries, and is (as far as we know) still the only faith-based column in the industry, we've been there for it all over the last decade. During that time our contributors covered races at Daytona, Talladega, Kansas, Sonoma, Phoenix, Charlotte, Kentucky, Pocono, New Hampshire, Martinsville, Dover, Bristol, Richmond, Texas, and Darlington. Pretty amazing, right?

I give you the history of Skirts and Scuffs so that I can tell you about the future. Effective today, January 1, 2020, I am handing over the steering wheel and moving on from my Editor-in-Chief role. It's not a decision that I made lightly. In fact I've been agonizing over it for nearly a year.

The truth is, my life has changed a lot in the last 10 years. I've grown as a person and now have a career that I love -- one that has the potential for growth. I'm nearly finished with the degree I started 20 years ago and have a million things I want to experience in life. I'm more confident than I've ever been in my abilities to do anything I set my mind to, and I give a lot of credit to Skirts and Scuffs and our team for helping me find who I wanted to be when I grew up. Without this website, I'm not sure where I'd be now. I do know my life would be a lot less fulfilling without the friendships I've made along the way.

No, I'm not saying goodbye forever. I still plan to be around from time to time. I might pop up in an opinion post now and again. Really, I just want to be a fan again. I want to go back to the days when I watched racing for the pure joy of it and not because I was looking for an angle for a story. I want to sit in the stands and feel the vibration of the bleachers as the cars thunder through the turns. I want to drag my non-race-loving friends to the track and see the looks on their faces the first time they feel that vibration and see how sexy racecars can be.

Skirts and Scuffs isn't going anywhere. The site and social media presence will still be active. I'm gonna leave it up to the new leadership to share what's coming. I hear it's pretty great.

Speaking of the new leadership, Skirts and Scuffs will now be managed by current Skirts and Scuffs columnist, Courtney Horn and staff photographer, Debbie Ross. Both long-term members of the team, Courtney and Debbie are excited to lead Skirts and Scuffs into the future. I have the utmost faith in their ability to keep the dream and the vision I had for S&S alive for many years to come. I am beyond thankful that these two amazing women have agreed to lead our team through the next stage of growth. They are going to do great things!

Skirts and Scuffs might seem like just another website to our readers, but for those of us who have lived the S&S life for the last decade, we know it's more than just words on the screen. It's a sisterhood. I'd be remiss if I didn't thank my team for their dedication to the site and to my dream. It might have been my vision, but I couldn't have done it without this talented group of ladies. They are my sisters and my friends, and I can't ever repay them for the strength they have given me to be who I was destined to be. I love you all. THANK YOU isn't nearly a strong enough sentiment.

Finally, to our readers. Without you, we're just a group of women talking about cars going around in circles. Thank you for your love and support over the last decade. It makes my heart happy to know you believed in us and thought we were worthy of your readership. Keep supporting this team. They've still got a hell of a lot left to say!

Love and gratitude,
Katy Lindamood
Founder/Former Editor-in-Chief, Skirts and Scuffs
Handing Over the Steering Wheel: A Letter from Skirts and Scuffs Founder, Katy Lindamood Handing Over the Steering Wheel: A Letter from Skirts and Scuffs Founder, Katy Lindamood Reviewed by Katy Lindamood on Wednesday, January 01, 2020 Rating: 5