How was your Fatherís Day? Did you take the time to remember your Dad
and acknowledge him?How about your heavenly Father, did you thank Him
for everything He has done for you? Greetings in the name of our Lord
and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Fatherís Day is another time when we seek to recognize one of our
parents. Letís face it without either one we would not be here. Godís
idea of parents is not necessarily held by the world today. As we
discussed last week, God created the family with certain roles and
responsibilities. I hope and pray that your Dad understands his
responsibility and has tried to honor God in his leadership of his
Dads are an interesting lot. I was talking with one Thursday night
at Thompson, as he described what it was like to watch his son race, you
could see the pride on his face. He has retired from racing and now has
to watch. For him it is difficult because he would love to be there,
side by side, racing with his son.
Then there was the Limited feature at Thompson that saw a father
follow his son across the line in a one-two finish. I couldnít see
inside his helmet but I would be willing to bet that dad was full of
emotion and pride at watching his sonís achievement. His son had just
won his first feature in the division and dad had a front row seat.
We all remember Dale Sr. as he watched his son and his driver,
Michael Waltrip, lead the Daytona 500 out of the last turn. The day
would take a sudden and tragic turn a few seconds later, but that didnít
remove the joy a father had for his son.
Joey Logano gave his dad a victory for Fatherís Day, his first as
he became the youngest to win on the NASCAR national divisions. Tom and
I have talked many times about how difficult it is standing by, watching
and wanting your son to do well. The road for Joey is been laid out and
the pressure is on him to show he has what it takes to fulfill the
promise. Joey went a long way to helping his dad relax and enjoy the
Scripture tells us to honor our father and mother and it will go
well for us. The Fifth Commandment says;
Exodus 20:12, "Honor your father and your mother, so
that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.Honor
is an interesting word and I thought we might try to understand it
better. What does it mean to honor someone or something? At the very
least it means to recognize. It means to acknowledge. It means to
respect. When we honor someone we show them that we understand what they
have done and we are grateful for the opportunity it provided for us.
Last Thursday night I was talking with Jason Cunningham, public
relations coordinator for the Whelen Modified Tour. As we watched the
Sunoco Modified feature. It was a particularly rough race with the
beating and banging that has become commonplace in the division here and
elsewhere. He has been researching the history of the Modified Tour as
NASCAR honors 60 years of Modified racing. He mentioned an article in
this monthís Speedway Illustrated that tells of a different era when
drivers had a respect for one another and contact was the exception and
not the rule.
In an excerpt from Bugsy!, the Life and Times of Bogs Stevens,
comes an Etiquette Lesson. Bugsy was quoted to say ďEven the worst
driver can run into another car.Ē What he is saying is that it takes a
good driver to drive around someone. A driver who has respect for the
equipment and other drivers. In his day, Bugsy said there were unwritten
rules and everyone abided by them. Passing was done by driving around
someone not through them. They had the right of way until you got to
their door and they could see you. Then they were expected to relinquish
the groove. That did not mean they didnít fight for position; they did,
side by side not nose to tail. When you didnít have the car to get it
done you fell in behind, finished the race and lived to race another
day. Bugsy said some of his best days in racing were those side by side
battles. If you get a chance read the article and then the book. Maybe
we can get back to that kind of racing someday?
This helps us to understand what it means to honor someone or
something. The unwritten rules were respected. The drivers raced with an
understanding of them and they were not broken intentionally because
someone thought he deserved to be in a better position. That is where
honor starts, in your heart, when we think we deserve something we
havenít earned we start moving away from where we should be.
Honor is about putting someone above yourself. It is about caring
for others and what they have done before you care about what you want.
There are many people that deserved to be honored. I think of all those
who gave their life for our freedom. I think of those who have paved the
way for me to enjoy the opportunities I have. I think of my Dad, he
wasnít perfect and in many eyes didnít do anything honorable, but for me
he taught me respect. He taught me fairness. He taught me how to honor
others. That is enough for me to say thank you.
I wonder if we have lost our way? Have we become so self centered
that we donít have time to stop and honor those who came before us,
those who paved the way, those who sacrificed their life for ours. I am
not just talking about our dads, I am talking about anyone who, in the
past, has done something that has helped you attain the life you enjoy
We honor God the Father because He created us; He gave us life. He
holds our future in his hand. He provided a sacrifice for us so that
through the blood of Christ our sins could be forgiven. He cares for us.
He loves us.
Take some time this week and reflect on your life, the things you
have the things you enjoy. Take some time and honor those who gave so
much so that we could have life. God Bless.
THOUGHTS FROM THE ROAD
100! The numbers were in order Friday night at Stafford.
Friday 13, car 13, 100 lap SK Mod Feature, 100 victory. TC had it come
together in historical fashion when he became the first driver to win
100 features at Jack Aruteís house. Jackís son was on hand to
commemorate the moment and present Ted with a sign officially naming a
grandstand after Ted Christopher. Ted was truly humbled by the moment
and thanked everyone for being a part of his career.
Love him or hate him TC can drive. I have noticed that as he
approached 50 he has started to settle down a little. He is more
calculating in his driving style, but donít underestimate him when he
needs to come through the field, inside, outside or in the dirt, TC is
coming to the front. Congratulations Teddy on getting to 100.
THURSDAY NIGHT THUNDER - The roles reversed themselves this
week. Thompson and Stafford enjoyed perfect weather while Waterford fell
to showers and rain on Scout Night. But there was plenty of thunder at
Thompson on Thursday night. The Mod feature was a challenge at best to
stay clean. I am pretty sure that each car had paint or rubber on it
that didnít belong to them. It was a blue-collar race if ever there was
one. Keith Rocco came home the victor with a few bumps and scrapes but
none the worse for wear. The victory will improve his position in the
Whelen All-American Racing Series National Standings.
1992 WAS A VERY GOOD YEAR - for Jeff Fuller. Jeff the 1992
Whelen Modified Tour Champion will be honored at the track where he
enjoyed his most success, Thompson International Speedway, when the Tour
returns this Thursday, June 19, for a 75 green-flag only lap event. Jeff
won one-third of his tour victories less than a half-hour from his
Auburn, Ma home. Jeff went on as many have done to race in NASCAR
national touring Divisions but never attained the success he had close
to home. I am sure it will be good for Jeff to come home again and we
look forward to seeing him Thursday night.
The racing Fullers keep true to their racing heritage as just this
last Thursday night two of them can still be found turning wrenches in
the pits at Thompson. Jimmy and Rick both were lending a hand to the
next generation of racers. I think itís great to see them and I am sure
it encourages those young drivers to have them there to help.
This week we get back to action on Thursday night at Thompson with
a new twist on a Tour race, 75 laps of green flag racing. I am not sure
one way or the other on this one. I would like to see the race long
enough for pit strategy to come into play because I think that is what
sets the tour apart for the weekly racers. I would also like to see a
minimum of green laps run so that there is a guarantee that we will see
some racing action.
I am sure of one thing, I will be there to see how it plays out and
I hope you will be there also. After that I am headed to the sailboat in
Maine to get away from the noise and soak in the sun, but not for long.
NHMS is coming up next week and we are excited to see what the new
owners have done with the place.
JOEY ďTHE JETĒ PAYNE TALKS SAFETY
Friends and Fellow racers, Iíd like to thank Oswego
Speedway, their Safety crew and the Big O fans for being the best at
what they do. Saturdayís crash was one of my worst in 24 yrs of racing.
The impact was horrific, so bad my teeth were hurting. Aside from that
my ribs, legs and jaw were badly bruised. I have to Thank the Strong
gang for putting together such a safe car. Two years ago I nearly died
in my NEMA Midget, if it wasn't for having the Cadillac of seats, The
Joie of Seating, I probably would have been dead.This weekend I wore my
Safety Solutions Hybrid Rage head and neck device for the second time,
and boy am I glad I did. After the wreck at Stafford I swore I would be
safer racing. My brother Johnny sells the devices for Safety Solutions
and Being the old school racer I am I shrugged it off, saying "ah I'll
be ok," I owe Johnny a lot of Thanks.In Saturdayís wreck, the throttle
stuck and the second or two it took to hit the wall I pulled back on the
pedal so hard I have the top of my right foot bruised. Itís easy for
everyone to say "He should have just hit the kill switch," well I'll
tell you that was the last thing I thought of as the wall approached. I
did try to hit the switch off on the steering wheel as I hit the wall
but just couldn't, I didn't want to let go of the wheel. The Hybrid Rage
did its job and to be honest my head and neck are remarkably feeling
great.Letís use this crash as a wake up call to everyone! Drivers use
the safety devices!! I feel it really saved my life. On the other side I
feel that the track and clubs should make kill switches on the brake
pedal or the toe strap mandatory. Itís a cheap fix compared to losing a
friend. Believe me I have lived through it. I know all this safety stuff
isn't cheap but you canít put a price on life.
Thank for reading,
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Jesus is Lord over Auto Racing. GOD BLESS.
Mail reaches us at Racing with Jesus Ministries, PO Box 586,
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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
SKIP & LOIS MATCZAK - The Ellington, CT SuperModified team owner and
wife make it 41 years together.
CHRIS & LORI HALSTEAD - Point Pleasant, NJ ProStock driver at
Wall Stadium and wife celebrate anniversary No. 9.
DENNIS & PAT PUNCH - This Hickory, NC Wolf Head's Oil NNS Public
Relations/ Team Manager pro and wife have their 24th anniversary. Dennis
is also ESPN's Dr. Jerry's brother.
STEVE & ESTHER DEVINE - This Lebanon Valley Speedway Modified driver
and wife from Danbury, CT complete 24 laps together.
GIL HEARNE - Hueytown, AL born retired multi-time Wall Township
Speedway Modified champion.
JOE MAMMOLITO - Long Island retired Modified Series driver.
GAYLE FERREE - From Saxonburg, PA is the wife of Ed; championship
Big Block LM dirt driver.
SCOTT RIGGLEMAN - Howell Township, NJ ARTS Truck championship
remember - Rev. Pat's bday
JERRY COOK - Six time NASCAR Modified champion from Rome, NY, now
in the Safety Department of NASCAR in Charlotte, NC.
RON HORNADAY, JR. - Palmdale, CA NNS/CTS driver.
DAVID HUTTO - Rock Hill, SC NASCAR driver.
JODY TANNER - Portland, OR NASCAR West driver.
BRIANNE LEHMAN - The daughter of Smithville, OH AARN columnist
DAVE SUKUP - A son of retired Midget owner, Joe Sukup, of
Schodack Landing, NY.
TYLER HEARN - Son of famous dirt Mod driver Brett.
CHRIS JONES - New Milford, CT NASCAR Modified driver.
BOB SLOTTER - PA asphalt Modified driver.
PHIL PARSONS - Detroit, MI Former driver now TV commentator.
JUDY WIBBELSMAN - The wife of RWJM advisor Dick, down in
JAY SAUTER - West Salem, WI born, Mooresville, NC NASCAR CTS/NNS
DAN JIVANELLI - Hampton Bays, LI Riverhead Raceway and Legends
JEFF WARD - Glasgow, Scotland born, now San Juan Capistrano, CA
RED SEAVER - Stafford Springs, CT member of the Brad Hietala
WAARS SK Modified team at Stafford.
PAT JONES - Enfield, CT Hietala fan.
ROGER TREICHLER - Retired D.I.R.T. Hall of Famer.
MELISSA RESNER - Wife of Riverhead LM team owner Richie.
HUT STRICKLIN - Former NSC driver.
JIM BOWN - Portland, OR NNS/CTS driver/ team owner.
CLAUDE BOURBONNAIS - lle Perrot, Quebec IRL driver.
PETER DANIELS - Lebanon, NH ProStock/Modified/CWSE driver.
HENRY ST. JOHN, SR. - The father of the proprietor of Jewett City
(CT) Service Henry, Jr.
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