Atlanta Motor Speedway honors longtime motorsports reporter ‘Capt. Herb’ Emory

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Atlanta Motor Speedway’s media center is overflowing this weekend, with a number of reporters on scene to report on Tony Stewart’s return to NASCAR racing after missing the last three races following the Kevin Ward Jr. tragedy.

But two long-time figures around AMS are not there.

First is AMS marketing and public relations director Marcy Scott, who lost a long and valiant battle with cancer last November. The infield media center has been renamed in honor of Scott, who served the track for over a decade before falling ill.

And there is also an empty seat in the back corner of the media center that was filled for more than two decades by longtime Atlanta radio and TV reporter Capt. Herb Emory. A baseball cap marks Emory’s longtime seat at AMS this weekend.

Flying both helicopters and planes (hence how he earned the nickname of “Capt.”), Emory for years was the primary source of traffic news around Atlanta on WSB AM and FM radio, shepherding drivers around backups and accident scenes.

Emory, 61, passed away in April after suffering a massive heart attack..

Emory was also a long-time motorsports reporter, covering dozens of races at AMS as well as attending other races around the country, hosted a weekly racing show on WSB-AM for nearly 20 years, and was a yearly fixture on the annual preseason NASCAR Media Tour in Charlotte, N.C., in January.

True to his nature of always helping people, Emory died while assisting victims of a car crash that occurred in front of his suburban Atlanta home.

“That was Herb Emory,” Douglas County Commission Chairman Tom Worthan told the Atlanta Journal Constitution back in April shortly after Emory’s death. “Always serving his community.”

To honor Emory, AMS has painted a special “Capt. Herb” logo in the corner of the frontstretch and will hold a pre-race presentation to his widow, Karen Emory.

On a personal note, I knew Emory for close to 15 years. While we weren’t close, we had a number of conversations over the years and he was always both professional and friendly. He and Marcy Scott will continue to be missed for many, many years to come by members of the NASCAR media and the NASCAR community.

Follow me @JerryBonkowski

Daniel Ricciardo would relish being Lewis Hamilton’s teammate

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BAKU, Azerbaijan (AP) — Daniel Ricciardo says he would relish the challenge of having Lewis Hamilton as his teammate if he joins Mercedes next year.

Ricciardo is out of contract at Red Bull at the end of the season and expressed interest in joining teams like Mercedes or Ferrari to help him challenge for the championship.

The Australian says he would “love to obviously be challenged against the best and Lewis is obviously up there.”

He adds: “I don’t want to say it’s just Lewis I’m looking for but that would be a good challenge.”

Ricciardo says he won’t accept a faster car if it means playing second fiddle to an established star.

He says “there’s always been really good clarity and fairness (at Red Bull) … and I would expect that environment everywhere.”