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2021 SCORE MANAGER OTY Amber MacCachren Balances Her Relationships And Management Tactics To A Higher Level By Dan Sanchez Although Amber MacCachren has always been respected as one of off-road racing’s elite team managers, it wasn’t until the end of the 2021 SCORE season that she had the opportunity to be voted as SCORE Manager Of The Year. “Winning the championship this year and managing various aspects of the MacCachren Motorsports team is something I’ve worked hard at,” says MacCachren. “But winning the 2021 SCORE Manager OTY is awkward for me. I’m not used to being in the spotlight, and there aren’t a lot of women who are in this position, and doing this at the level that we do.” Many argue there are too few women recognized in off-road motorsports, and most have to earn their respect behind the wheel. MacCachren, however, has earned the respect of the off-road racing community from her ability to keep the MacCachren team functioning safely at a high level while treating every worker and volunteer as family. The results have made many teams adopt MacCachren’s techniques and skills, but they were practices she learned on her own from a young age. “I grew up in the California high-desert and have been around off-road racing since I was 15,” says MacCachren. “I started working with a ProTruck team and learned from some of the women who were managing and working on logistics. I paid attention and was self-taught. After 10-years on that team, I met Rob. We started dating and he then asked me to help out on his team when he was with Riviera Racing. I kind of became his personal assistant (she laughs), but I paid attention to what the team was doing at this level and learned a lot.” The respect Amber MacCachren now has as a team manager at the SCORE Trophy Truck racing level is something she also had to earn. “Being a woman in a predominantly male sport never really bothered me, but I had Rob by my side agreeing with my ideas and tactics,” she said. “Telling 30-40 guys what to do before a peninsula run, for example, took a lot of time to fully gain their respect. I’m proud of that. It started with Rob asking me to handle things, and as the team caught on, they would eventually come to me to help get things done. Their trust in me came from that, and it developed further because they saw I really cared. But it wasn’t just about how to get things done. I’ve had to learn how men work and the dynamics of their interactions. When a woman tells a guy to do something, the tone can sound different, so I also had to learn how to talk to the team and adapt myself. Sure, I can play the sweetheart, but when I get mad, I can step it up and throw in a few cuss words. Then they know Amber’s not joking.” MacCachren’s ability to lead and nurture is something unique in racing, probably something that only she could do, but it has proven to be successful. “I’ve worked hard to figure out the right way to do things, from getting people across the border safely, to giving everything to my team as well as others who are in need. Sometimes Rob has to reel me back in, but it feels good. I care about all of my guys and I worry about them. I worry if they really want to be here or if I came off bad to any one individual. I see them for who they are, somebody’s husband, father, son, brother, so I worry about their safety and I often ask them to check with me after they cross the border after a race and if they are on their way back home, safe.” The MacCachren Motorsports team is one of the few that operates as a full business. This puts additional pressure on Amber MacCachren, not just as a team manager, but also on her relationships. “It’s difficult to balance the relationship I have with Rob and that of the team,” she says. “Now with Cayden racing, it’s double the effort. Both Rob and I have to work as business partners and parents too. It’s very difficult to balance, but in the end, we look at everything as a whole and realize, it’s just Rob and I. For example, we talk to potential sponsors and other teams, and they usually say, ‘just have your people email us,’ but the fact is that I am ‘my people,’ and there is no one else. Both Rob and I are self-taught and one of the very few racing teams that race for a living. It’s a lot of work, but also work that we are very proud of doing at such a high level.” MacCachren is very proud of the award and realizes that the SCORE fans and other teams that voted make her appreciate this award more. “Fans watch the races and they have seen our team for many years,” she said. “That is something I appreciate. I try to get with SCORE fans on a personal level as much as possible and we invite them into our lives as much as we can. We are very real and raw, just like the fans, and I appreciate the fact that they are paying attention.” SJ

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