Morris Metcalfe passes away
Morris Metcalfe, one of NASCAR’s longest serving officials and a member of the organization’s timing and scoring department in five decades, died Thursday in Winston-Salem, N.C. Metcalfe, who retired as Chief of Timing and Scoring following the 2002 Daytona 500, was 81.
Metcalfe, holder of a Master’s Degree in biomedical engineering from Texas Tech University following higher education at the Tennessee Military Institute and University of Miami, began scoring NASCAR races in the 1950s. He became an assistant to then NASCAR scoring chief Joe Epton a few years later after service at tracks from Daytona Beach to the Carolinas and Virginia.
A World War II veteran who served as a signalman on the USS Randolph and later a colonel in the United States Air Force Reserve, Metcalfe joined NASCAR on a fulltime basis after his retirement with 30 years of service with Western Electric now Lucent Technology.
Metcalfe, born in Morristown, Tenn., is credited for founding NASCAR’s first fan club, in 1955 for NASCAR NEXTEL Cup champion Lee Petty.
Metcalfe died of natural causes according to his daughter, Laura Boblitz. “He was a very generous, giving person who loved life,” she said.
Former NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series chief of Timing and Scoring Betsy Tyler remembered Metcalfe as “a wonderful man who had faith in a Yankee woman.” Tyler became acquainted with Metcalfe in 1963 as a driver’s wife at Riverhead and Islip speedways on Long Island, ultimately working with Metcalfe for nearly 30 years.
Metcalfe was the recipient of many honors during his NASCAR service including the prestigious Buddy Shuman Award.
He is survived by two children, M. Lee Metcalfe Jr. and Laura Boblitz; five grand children and one great grandson.
Public services will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 5 at Hayworth-Miller Funeral Home on Silas Creek Parkway in Winston-Salem. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the NEXTEL Cup Wives Auxiliary.