As I reflected on the events of this past week and what it means to have
someone care about us, my thoughts turned to my father. I wondered how
many of us have a passion for something because our father put it there.
Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
I had the opportunity to introduce some new Busch East Series
drivers to my hometown track on Friday night. As I shared about the last
forty years of visiting the half-mile, I remembered the man that brought
me to my first race there, my dad.
I remember the first time I went to a racetrack, it was in
the mid 60’s and my dad brought me to Stafford Motor Speedway. I was
your typical seven year old, I didn’t sit still, wanted everything the
concession stand had to offer and watching the racing was secondary.
However, I was hooked, I wanted to come back.
To this day, I get that feeling in my stomach; excitement
like it was the first time. I attend Stafford ’s Friday night races many
times every season but that feeling is still there. I hope I never lose
it. Thanks dad.
The race that cemented my interest in the sport happened one
summer night a few years later at Catamount Speedway in Vermont . Bobby
Dragon and Canada 's Jean-Paul Cabana dueled for the entire feature. As
they came out of turn four one car erupted in flames. As they rolled to
a stop the other driver was halfway out of his car with a fire
extinguisher in his hand to help the man he just fought tooth and nail
with for the win. What a show of sportsmanship.
The part that really hooked me though was when the night was
finished we went through the gate at the start/finish line and walked
into the pits. I had a chance to see the drivers and their cars up close
and personal. I was in awe, theses guys were larger than life and that
night left an impression that has fueled my feeling about racing to this
I have my father to thank for that. My dad didn’t live too
long, he passed when I was fifteen, but during the time we had together
he taught me a tremendous amount about life and how to live it. I think
every parent only wants that opportunity, the opportunity to pass on
their passion to their children. We want to teach them what and how this
life should be lived.
I wonder how your dad touched your life. I look at the names
of the drivers and I see the Jr.’s after many names. Each one is there
to honor the dad that blazed the trail and imparted on his son the
passion to race. There is at least one cheering for them, dad.
As I said before my dad passed away when I was fifteen but
that doesn’t stop him from being an influence in my life. Much of who I
am and how I view things I learned from him. I know he didn’t always do
things right but he was always my dad.
I am reminded of how many times Jesus referred to his father.
Jesus wasn’t out there alone, his father was there for him. There would
however come a time when Jesus would leave this earth and turn the
ministry over to the men he trained, much like sons. As he talked with
His disciples, His sons, about His upcoming death He provided them words
of assurance and direction.
John 14:1-6, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in
God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were
not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for
you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take
you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to
the place where I am going."
Thomas said to him, "Lord, we don't know where you are going,
so how can we know the way?"
Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No
one comes to the Father except through me.
Jesus is preparing a place for us in His Father’s house,
Heaven. He will come and claim what belongs to Him and we will be there
with Him. We do not have to live separated from our heavenly Father. We
know the way; Jesus Christ. Let Jesus instill a passion in your heart
for living in a way that would please your heavenly Father. Jesus is
that way, that truth, that life.
Remember the man who you call dad this week. Thank him for
the passion he put in your heart for the things you love. Also remember
your heavenly father and the place he has for you. Turn to him to get
you through the days ahead. Trust Him with your very life. God Bless,
THOUGHTS FROM THE ROAD
As we talk about sons and fathers, we remember this week the
influence that Bill France Jr. had on all of our lives. Bill was the
middle of the France family between Bill Sr. and Brian. A bridge of
sorts, he took what his father provided and developed it into something
that has touched the lives of so many. He them turned it over to his son
and Brian now has the charge of continuing the family business.
I never met Bill France Jr. but I am familiar with his work.
I became a fan of NASCAR racing with the first live broadcast of the
Daytona 500. I wanted so much to see more. I followed everything I
could, but it was hard, the predominantly southern sport got very little
press in the Northeast.
NASCAR has now become a national sport and there are many
opportunities to watch racing live or on TV. I believe it is probably
one of the most recognized names in sports. Bill France Jr. did a
tremendous job and I am sure his dad is proud of the legacy he leaves.
I had another opportunity to celebrate what a father taught
his son. On Thursday I had the distinct pleasure of participating in the
Tom Baldwin Memorial on Long Island . I was driving around the morning
of the event looking for a carwash when I saw Tom Jr. walking back from
the corner store with a coffee in his hand back to the shop that bore
the family name. A legacy to his father and all that he taught him. I
recalled the song “This is my Hometown” by Bruce Springsteen. This was
It doesn’t matter where you travel there is always something
special about coming home.
Tom Jr. has helped us all remember his dad. He has continued
the tradition of giving to others. I am sure he has made his dad proud.
As Tom sat there with his son by his side, I was confident that the
legacy will live on.
I had the pleasure of playing with Chuck Hossfeld. Chuck had
a rough week and his future is a little uncertain but to his credit he
didn’t let that dampen his enthusiasm for the day and what it
represented. I remember standing beside his mom in victory lane at NHIS
after Chuck won in the Mystic Missile. She was shaking, some from
excitement some from fear. She turned to me and said she wished he took
up a safer sport, maybe golf. If Chuck decided to switch sports, we may
need to help him out a little. As good as he is at driving a modified he
is the opposite at golf. Chuck needs a little more practice before he
can make a living on the links.
We had a great day and the entire group contributed at one
point or another to our success. Tom Baldwin was remembered and many
charitable donations were made in his name. Tom touched the lives of
many and they continue to be inspired by his memory to give.
The traditional visit to Stafford by the Full Fendered cars
took place last Friday night. There were many on the series that were
there for the first time. I talked with many and they were impressed
with the facility. Many had heard the legend of Jack Arute’s Stafford
Motor Speedway and now they were there.
The race however helped us understand why Stafford is so
special, you need to race there to learn how to race there. The top
three reflected the old guard on what is now the Busch East. Eddie
McDonald decided Friday morning that the car was ready and came home
with the victory in his first race of the year. He was followed by 2006
Champion Mike Olsen and former Stafford Late-model driver Matt Kobyluck.
There are teams with many more resources than McDonald Motorsports but
there are very few who have as much heart.
When I signed in I crossed paths with Eddie’s dad, Red. He
commented, “we’ll see?” The next time I saw Red he was crossing the
infield on his way to victory lane with a wide smile. His comment, “did
you see that!” Here was a dad who was so proud of his son and the
obstacles he had overcome to make it here. I think Red’s comments are
similar to most Dad’s as they reflect on the accomplishments of their
They smile wide and proclaim for the world “did you see
God bless and have a great week celebrating Father’s day,
Be a witness for our Lord with the ministry decals and
apparel. See them at the Online Apparel Store at www.RWJM.org. Call us
with your prayer and counseling needs and list all your prayer needs, no
matter what part of our racing family you are in, with the Racing Family
Prayer Request Page
www.rwjm.org/page/prayers.php also send your prayer request by mail.
Until next time, remember that God loves you, we love you and
Jesus is Lord over Auto Racing. GOD BLESS.
Mail reaches us at Racing with Jesus Ministries , PO Box 586
, Tolland , CT 06084 . Check our weekly printed pages in "Area Auto
Racing News", the East Coast’s largest weekly racing paper" See our
on-line Apparel Store for subscription information. Check our home page
www.rwjm.org for past articles. We invite you to input your thoughts as
you sign our Guest Book. Please remember, we can only do what we do
because of your prayerful financial support.
Numbers 6:24-26 "The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord
make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his
face toward you and give you peace."
May God always Bless you, everyday in everyway. Rev. Don
MARCEL & CHRIS DUSSEAULT - "Deuce" and his wife from Somersworth ,
NH are former owners of the NASCAR BES GRAND NATIONAL Marc Motorsports
team and have their 42nd anniversary.
SCOTT & JOAN NICKEL - This Thompson Speedway photographer and
wife share their 25th anniversary.
SAL & FRIEDA MAGLIO - These fans from Scranton , PA have their
34th wedding anniversary.
LENNIE & ELAINE STOCKWELL - Mom, dad and crew for the car driven
by their son Kip.
DICK & PHYLLIS WOLSTENHUME - This retired Beech Ridge Speedway
driving mutli-time champion and wife share their 48th anniversary.
AREA AUTO RACING NEWS - The East's leading weekly racing
publication, led by Publisher Lenny Sammons, celebrates its 43rd
DANA & LAURIE SAVARY - This Plymouth, MA Seekonk Speedway Street
Stock driver and wife celebrate 26 years together.
JACKIE & WENDY ARUTE - The President of Stafford Motor Speedway / TV
racing announcer and wife have their 9th anniversary.
SKIP & LOIS MATCZAK - The Ellington, CT SuperModified team owner and
wife make it 40 years together.
BRUCE & KATHY VanNORDE - This Wall Township Speedway Truck
Division and Demo Derby driver and wife from Longbranch , NJ share their
CHRIS & LORI HALSTEAD - Point Pleasant, NJ ProStock driver at
Wall Stadium and wife celebrate anniversary No. 8.
DAVEY HAMILTON - Boise, Idaho SuperModified great, now IRL driver.
RON KEYS - Nottingham, PA Sprint/ Modified driver.
SHAUN BUFFINGTON - Plainfield , CT Modified driver.
DIRK STEPHENS - Tumwater, WA BGN/All Pro/CTS driver.
KEVIN RICHARDS - Spokane, WA NASCAR West driver.
IRENE GEHRIS - Grandview Speedway's VIP Registra and AARN
ADRAI SCHAFFER - One of Grandview Mod driver Rick and wife
FRANK L'ETOILE, JR. - Son of Massachusetts ProStock driver Frank
and wife Betty is 15.
JACK MILLER - Dr. Jack, Carmel , IN IRL driver.
LEVI SCHULTZ - This Quakertown, PA 250cc Micro Srpint driver at
Borger 's Speedway in Saylorsburg , PA.
JOEY CAVALLERO - This Wall Township Speedway fan and son of Tom
and Sally and also the nephew of Steve "Woody" Woods of the Evernham R&D
Department and wife Tammy, turns 7.
TODD HUMPHREYS - Elbridge, NY NASCAR BES driver.
TREVOR NICKEL - This aspiring photographer is the son of Thompson
Speedway photographer Scott and wife Joan.
SCOTT PURSELL - Frenchtown, NJ dirt Modified driver.
DEREK LYNCH - Augusta, ME LM/NASCAR BES driver.
VICTORY MIBELLI - Windsor, CA NASCAR West driver.
THOMAS SCHRAMM - Hulmesville, PA Legends driver.
BOB SNYDER - PA photographer.
NIKKI KITCHENS - Daughter of Birmingham , AL BGN driver, team
owner Jimmy is 18.
DAN POZZUTO - The VP of Operations for Ed Ferree's corporations
based in Saxonburg , PA and team member on Ed's winning Pennsylvania
Motor Speedway Big Block Late Model.
TOMMY BARRON - Ontario, NY driver of the dirt ProStock 28T at Fulton
WAYNE SAVLUK - Lisbon, CT former Mod/ProStock driver; proprietor
of Savluk's Service.
PAUL SURPRENANT - Agawam , MA NASCAR Whelen Modified Series
ELAINE LaLUMIERE - Jefferson, NH wife of former ACT driver Rene.
GIL HEARNE - Hueytown, AL born retired multi-time Wall Township
Speedway Modified champion.
JOE MAMMOLITO - Long Island retired Modified Series driver.
GAYLE FERREE - This Saxonburg, PA RWJM Counselor is the wife of
Ed; championhship Big Block LM dirt driver.
SCOTT RIGGLEMAN - Howell Township, NJ ARTS Truck championship
*** NEW BEGINNINGS ***
VINCENT (VIN) HILLIARD - 68, of Wareham and a former longtime
resident of Framingham , died Saturday, June 2, 2007, at Tobey Hospital
in Wareham . Vin was a good friend and fellow photographer of Howie and
Mary Hodge. They go back to the NASCAR North days when no one heard of
NASCAR. He was also an avid fisherman. Please keep the family in your
thoughts and prayers. Also, keep those in the racing community who have
lost a good friend in your prayers.
JOE WISNIEWSKI - Area Auto Racing News photographer died suddenly
last week at the young age of 53, from a massive heart attack. Joe was
part of the paper's race coverage team at the Indianapolis 500 for many
years, with photographers Gerald Walker, Scott Haber, Bill Yoder; and
writer Walter Elliott. Cards of sympathy can be sent to Joe’s sister
Flory and Jo Ann Naticchia, 9 Sweet Gum Rd. , Marlton , NJ 08053 .
Memorial donations in the name of Joe Wisniewski can be sent to: The
Urban Youth Racing School, P.O. Box 3624 , Trenton , NJ 08629 .
JOAN KAFKA - Joan passed away on May 23, 2007 at age 63. Joan was
the wife of 1984 Wall (N.J.) Street Stock driving champion Joe Kafka.
Their team was known as the K-Company, with Joe the "CEO" and Joan the
"First Lady." Cards of condolence and sympathy can be sent to Joe Kafka
and family, 2 Mitchell Ave. , East Brunswick , NJ 08816 . Donations in
memory of Joan may be made to: The American Heart Association, 2550 Rt.
1, North Brunswick , NJ 08902-4301 .
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RACING WITH JESUS MINISTRIES AT
PO BOX 586, Tolland, CT, 06084
Racing With Jesus Ministries Website