Bobby Scruggs is known for his accomplishments as a longtime NASCAR official and founder of Racing Image. Over a career that spanned nearly four decades, Bobby worked as a chief starter in the Busch series, a tech inspector for the Winston Cup and cultivated genuine relationships with racing legends like Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kyle Petty among numerous other highlights. Those who knew him best say that he was also a huge education advocate.
After gracefully battling cancer for 13 years, Bobby passed away in January of 2005. Later that year the Bobby Scruggs Charitable Foundation was created in his memory. “Bobby had a lot of people that really supported him when he first got sick,” said Dr. Jackie Scruggs Taylor of her late husband. “He got cards almost every day and he greatly appreciated that because he wasn’t able to work after 2001. NASCAR paid millions of dollars towards his medical bills.”
There are four purposes of the Bobby Scruggs foundation: to memorialize Bobby’s longtime dedication to the sport of motor racing, honor Bobby’s integrity and respect for others, pay tribute to Bobby’s long and determined struggle against cancer and raise scholarship funds for young men and women who are pursuing a career in motorsports.
Dr. Jackie Scruggs Taylor says there are several things students can do to distinguish themselves from the opposition. “We look for students that demonstrate the ability to complete college-level studies. Grades are not the top criteria of what we are looking for though,” she said. “We also look for community service and how involved students are with their high schools.”
Last year two Craig County High School students received $1,000 a piece: current Radford University student Alexxa Foster and Logan Stevens, a Virginia Western Community College student studying Nursing. Over the last 12 years more than 80 students have benefitted from the Bobby Scruggs Foundation. “We’ve done 87 scholarships over the last 12 years and we’ve been in 25 different schools in this area,” Dr. Jackie said. “Recipients have gone on to attend Virginia Tech, Christopher Newport University and the University of Virginia among other top notch institutions. Bobby Scruggs still lives in the hearts of so many. Even when his health started to deteriorate he could still often be heard telling people to “Never Give Up”.
Applications must be post marked by March 15. “The scholarship is open to all public high schools in Southwest Virginia,” Dr. Jackie said. “We have a foundation committee that reviews the applications. It’s all up to the students to put in their desire as to why they feel they are deserving.”