New Castle News

Local News

February 23, 2013

Daytona 500: Local woman part of Danica Patrick’s team

NEW CASTLE — NASCAR driver Danica Patrick made history this week, becoming the first woman to claim pole position for the Daytona 500.

But the driver who logged the fastest time at Sunday’s qualifying round — 196.434 mph — isn’t the only competitive young female on the team.

Wilmington High graduate Martha McGrath, now in her fourth year with NASCAR, also will be in the pits, in the stands or wherever she needs to be this weekend, catering to the needs of Patrick’s sponsors as the Sprint Cup season opens Sunday at the Daytona International Speedway.

Since December, McGrath, 30, has been employed as marketing manager by Stewart-Haas Racing, the NASCAR Sprint Cup racing team owned by NASCAR champion Tony Stewart and Gene Haas.

She has been in Florida since Wednesday, busying herself with Daytona Speedweek activities, leading up to the 55th annual “Great American Race.” Duties include strategically placing logos so sponsors “get the most mileage” from the car and uniforms.

“There’s a lot to be done and we’ve been very busy,” she said.

This weekend, McGrath said, she will be seeing to the needs of sponsors, specifically Barb Rechteman, chief marketing officer of Patrick’s primary sponsor,

“My priority is to see that she enjoys herself.”

McGrath is familiar with the NASCAR community, having started in 2008 with JR Motorsports, the NASCAR Nationwide Series team owned by Dale Earnhardt Jr., then Turner Scott Motorsports and Roush Fenway Racing before joining Stewart-Haas.

Martha’s parents, Linda and District Judge Scott McGrath, are more than proud of their daughter’s accomplishments.

“This is a big step up for Martha,” Scott McGrath said. “This is the big leagues as far as NASCAR is concerned.”

In the past, he said, his daughter has been more “hands-on” with racing personnel than she is this year.

“Over the years, she’s been responsible for drivers including Brad Keselowski and Justin Allgaier, seeing that they got to where they were supposed to be,” he said.

“Danica is such a celebrity she has her own people, so there is less contact with her.”

However, he said, Martha is responsible for the No. 10 Danica Patrick car — and loving every minute.

McGrath said his daughter has met the young woman who is part of the team that includes Stewart and Ryan Newman, who will start tomorrow’s race in the fifth and fourth slots, respectively.

“If any one of the three need anything, she would be someone they could turn to,” he said. “As a member of the team she could be called on to do anything for them.”

Both, he said, are competitive young women.

Until she took her job, McGrath said, he had not been aware that his daughter was a NASCAR fan. But he has become a bigger fan, watching televised races hoping to catching a glimpse of her. “But she’s more of a behind-the-scenes person.”

However, Scott and Linda took in three races in person last year.

“With her connections, she got us into the pit during the race,” her father said, adding, “If you want to watch the race, the stands are the best place, but it’s down in the pits where you get the real sense of what it is like. You get a real sense of NASCAR community, you see the energy and the heart of the community and it really is a community.”


Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • Pride.tiff New Castle Schools: Second-grader recognized for reading 200 books

    Alexandra Browne of New Castle could very well be Lawrence County’s youngest bookworm. The petite, curly-haired 8-year-old was summoned to the New Castle school board meeting Monday with her parents, Rochelle and Ted Browne, to receive the district’s Pride and Promise award for April.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hilcorp a partner in vo-tech shale course

    A shale drilling company’s contribution to the vo-tech school will help fund a curriculum for careers in that field.

    April 19, 2014

  • 01.jpg Photo Gallery: Church’s tradition of Easter countdown continues

    Easter is keenly anticipated by Christians around the globe. But perhaps nowhere is its arrival more heralded than at Independent Methodist Church.

    April 18, 2014 11 Photos

  • Lawrence county receives state grant

    Lawrence County will receive state funding to update its comprehensive plan. The county will receive $47,000, in the form of a Municipal Assistance Grant, from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, according to state Sen. Elder J. Vogel.

    April 18, 2014

  • Mahoning Township sets spring cleanup

    Mahoning Township will have its spring cleanup the weeks of April 28 and May 5. Residents should place items at the curb the day before their scheduled collection. They should be neatly bagged or bundled.

    April 18, 2014

  • Vo-Skills.jpg VoTech team claims silver medal state honors

    The Lawrence County Career and Technical Center boasts a team of disciplined, well-spoken winners. The school’s SkillsUSA team, comprised of 21 students, stood against other schools from throughout Pennsylvania last week in Hershey.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Columbia Gas announces pipeline replacement work

    Columbia Gas has scheduled a pipeline replacement project for New Castle. Beginning this month, the company will replace approximately 2,800 feet of existing steel pipe along Eastbrook and Paper Mill roads and Cascade Street. The project is expected to be completed in July.

    April 17, 2014

  • ESB Financial reports earnings increase

    ESB Financial Corp., parent company of ESB Bank, has announced an increase in earnings for the quarter ended March 31.

    April 17, 2014

  • Author.tiff Arthur the author: Children’s writer/illustrator visits Neshannock Elementary

    A story about a grandmother and her granddaughter flying over a city grew from the vivid imagination of children’s author Arthur Dorros. “Abuela” also spurred the creativity of students at Neshannock Memorial Elementary School who had eagerly awaited a visit from Dorros yesterday.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Greer House changes name

    Greer House, a provider of assisted living services and care to seniors, has unveiled its new name. “We are thrilled about our new name — Clen-Moore Place,” said executive director Susan Leise, “because it better reflects our commitment to provide a vibrant environment where our residents thrive each and every day.

    April 16, 2014