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

Gabby Chaves to sub for Joao Barbosa at Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen

Photo: IndyCar
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Gabby Chaves is set to return to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at Watkins Glen International later this month.

The Columbian-American driver, who last competed in IMSA in 2016 – with the DeltaWing outfit – will sub for the injured Joao Barbosa – he hurt his wrist in a cycling accident earlier in June – in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen.

Chaves will partner Filipe Albuquerque and Christian Fittipaldi in the No. 5 Cadillac.

Chaves expressed gratitude for being asked to fill in, but kept his enthusiasm muted, noting that he is getting the opportunity ultimately because another driver got hurt.

“The first thing is of course that you never want to have an opportunity because someone got hurt, so this is an unfortunate circumstance with Joao having his injury,”said Chaves. “But I appreciate the opportunity to join the championship-leading team. Mustang Sampling Racing has had a strong start this year and hopefully I can help the team continue to have those kinds of results.”

Chaves added, “I love Watkins Glen, it is a great track and I am looking forward to racing the Cadillac Prototype there. I’m excited to be going back to endurance racing. With different classes all racing at the same time, there is a lot for the driver to deal with as you work through traffic. So I am looking forward to racing at the Glen again, and I really appreciate this opportunity with Mustang Sampling Racing.”

Chaves’ most recent IMSA event was the 2016 Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen, when he finished seventh in the Prototype class.

The No. 5 Action Express Cadillac currently sits tied with the sister No. 31 Whelen Engineer Racing Cadillac of Eric Curran and Felipe Nasr atop the IMSA standings, though Barbosa’s hopes of a driver’s championship are set to take an enormous hit with him missing Watkins Glen.

Follow@KyleMLavigne