Roy Mott, whose investment and ownership saved Toledo Speedway from commercial development in 1999, has died after a lengthy decline in health. He was 79.
Roy Mott was born July 29, 1938 on his grandmother’s farm in Dearborn and left Edsel Ford High School before graduating—later returning to earn his G.E.D.—to start his working career at a Standard Oil service station in Dearborn, which he went on to purchase in 1961. In 1964 he sold that station, purchased another and approached the City of Dearborn with a proposition to enter into a new concept—contract towing and vehicle storage at a flat rate, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Dearborn Towing won the city contract, and most customers chose to have their vehicles repaired on site at Westborn Collision, which he purchased in 1966. He also invested in Scarlet O’Hara’s Bar in 1973, but his primary focus continued to be the towing and collision shop. The business grew to become the 10th largest independently owned & operated collision shop in the U.S. at the time he sold it in the late 1990s. Always modest and unassuming, Mott was most likely to be found operating a manual push broom throughout the business despite being the owner.
Mott was a long-time Flat Rock Speedway sponsor and owned ARCA Street Stock #8 which was driven by his son Kevin Mott. When Roy Mott sold Westborn Collision in the 1990s, he became an ARCA Racing Series and NASCAR Winston Cup racing official and divested into several interests. Among those investments, he dedicated himself most to the purchase and renovation of Toledo Speedway. Partnering with ARCA President Ron Drager, Roy Mott personally spearheaded maintenance and capital improvement projects which restored the track, built in 1960, to its current status as one of the premier short tracks in the nation. The humble Mott had business cards printed listing his title as “Lawn Boy”, taking pride in the finely manicured grounds at the Speedway. However, his long-term vision for the track’s restoration earned him universal respect and was clear and extensive: municipal water and sewer service; replacement of safety wheel fence and cabling; repaving; installation of skybox suites; installation of a pit road; moving the competitor pit from the infield to outside the backstretch; new pit grandstands; paving and concrete pads in the pit area; new tech inspection building with concession stand, restrooms and racing tire service area. In 2011, Mott sold his interest in the track to Drager and continued in his support of the Speedway, attending events and greeting fans and racing friends until his health prevented him from doing so.
Roy is survived by his wife Shurae Mott; son Kevin (Tracy) Mott; daughter Linda (Mike) Murphy; grandchildren Steven Williams, Tyler Murphy and Mekinna Murphy; sister Chris Mott; sister Janet Mott; several nieces and nephews; step-children Jennifer Kovalchik (David Kovalchik) & Michael Pawleszeski. He was preceded in death by his parents, LeRoy Mott Sr. and Shirley Mott.
A memorial service is scheduled for 12 noon Saturday, October 14 at Crosspoint Freewill Baptist Church, 4015 Allen Road, Allen Park MI 48101. Memorials are suggested to the Kidney Foundation of Michigan.