The Chrome Horn - Racing With Jesus Ministries


by Rev. Don Rivers

   Believe it or not it has been four years since the passing of our brother and friend Rev. Pat Evans. I mention this because he laid the ground work for the step Racing with Jesus Ministries took this week. Pat worked hard to honor God and build this ministry. This week the fruits of that labor have started to be harvested. Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
   Rev. Pat's vision for this ministry was that we would broaden our support base enough to allow us to concentrate on God's work. That day has come for Racing with Jesus Ministries . It is with great joy that I announce Racing with Jesus Ministries has added their first paid staff person. I have accepted the position of Pastor at Emmanuel Baptist Church in West Springfield, MA. The Church has agreed to share me with RWJM. Also, the Board of Directors here at RWJM have agreed to contribute to my financial support. With both combined it was time to step out on faith and give my notice at my day job. After a short time of transition I will be dedicating my efforts to the Lord’s work. It will also allow me to more fully support my wife’s efforts as she runs our coffee shop, The Daily Grind Café. God’s plan has come together and I am excited about what tomorrow holds.
   It is appropriate to remember Pat and the things he taught us. With that in mind I wanted to share some of the column his long time friend and companion, Dick Wibblesman wrote to honor Pat.

   It was during the mid ‘70s that Pat developed a yearning for a closer relationship with the Lord. Once he was born again, he started to feel there must be a way to combine his two loves, for the Lord and for auto racing. He started talking with certain drivers and other personnel in the pits at various tracks, and with his gift of gab, talked his way into saying a “little” message at the driver’s meetings. Finally he formed Racing With Jesus Ministries in 1978. In 1979, at the urging of a good friend—Val LaSieur, who published Speedway Scene—Pat started a racing column in the paper. At first it was a brief message about the Lord followed by lots of racing news and his opinions. It was the latter that caught the attention of drivers, whose side he seemed to be on, and track officials/owners who were often on the receiving end of pointed comments about how the race should be run, or the track operated. But, he did get the reputation for being fair, honest and discreet—three traits that helped him become the reporter people read and believed for the truth. That allowed him to expand his Bible teaching in the column and touch more people. Nonetheless, Pat was many times the voice in the wilderness, ignored by many, listened to by few as he declared “prepare ye the way for the Lord”.
   I first met Pat at one of those times. He was at the Speedway Scene-sponsored 1980 Racearama sitting in a little 4x4 booth with a card table, two folding chairs, a Bible and no audience. My wife must have spent two to three hours talking to him to keep him company and to discuss her recent Born Again experience. Me? I was there for the cars.
   However, they must have had some prayer influence because I accepted the Lord one month later and thus started the 25 year long, wonderful relationship with Pat and his new ministry. Soon I was on the road almost every weekend with him—many of you probably know me only as the tall chubby fellow who was either standing in the background as Pat held court, or schlepping some podium, chair, book stand etc., or taking a collection at service. All vital jobs that needed doing—well maybe not the standing part.
   My first eye-opening taste of what it took for Pat to do his job was a mid-July trip to Oxford Plains for the ’80 Plains 250. There we were, driving up in an unairconditioned Chevette with my feet out the passenger window, screaming along at 75-80 mph (remember this was the double nickel era) hoping we got there before the engine breathed its last. It was not the last learning experience.
   Most people have no idea what it took Pat to pull off this ministry. First there was the money side. Pat held a number of jobs during the 1980’s, generally none longer than several months to a couple of years, because his bosses either got tired of him always needing time off to pursue his ministry obligations at a track anywhere from northern Maine down to southern Virginia, or because they didn’t see eye-to-eye with him being so upfront with his love for the Lord. This also meant that he never had a job where his income could support both his day-to-day expenses and the extra cost of the ministry—travel, motels, meals, etc. It was and remains today the biggest concern. Second was the time investment. Not only was Pat doing all his ministry work at the track, and holding down a job, he also had the column to write and the many instances of counseling to cover. It seemed as if Pat were squeezing 27 hours into each day.
   All those extra calls on his time were what made his efforts worthwhile. Pat was never happier than when he was asked to preside over a wedding or a christening, or was able to call me up and say another person had come to the Lord. THAT is what he felt called to do. Each year, at year end he would, with great joy, tell us how many of each had happened during the year.
   Over the years, Pat came to be accepted by more and more people. The turning point was probably the best and worst weekend of his life however. In October 1985, at Martinsville , one of Pat’s closest friends in racing, and one whom Pat had considered his biggest challenge regarding acceptance of faith, Richie Evans lost his life during practice. Pat was asked by track management to do a memorial service for Richie. Ultimately they broadcast the service to all 15-20,000 in the stands at the time. People heard him for the first time in many cases and realized that he was doing this job—the Ministry—for a reason, and it wasn’t money. It was a love of the Lord and the realization that these racers needed some divine protection. It helped Pat through this loss that Richie had told him earlier that week that he had found the Lord.
   From this point on Pat earned new respect for who he was and what he did. Attendance at services increased, more calls for ministering came in, more weddings etc. A little more funding as well, but never enough.
   In the early 90’s Pat changed the home of his column to Area Auto Racing News, thanks to the kindness of Lenny Sammons, to whom we are eternally grateful. He also started taking on additional people to help out both in the office--thanks Scott and Lisa—and at the track, first with some local representatives at places like Wall Stadium in NJ and Grandview in PA, and then most recently with full ministers like Dan Petfield who joined up in the late 90’s and Don Rivers a couple years ago.
   The ministry will survive. But we will all miss our dear friend and brother. I will miss times with him like the one in Virginia when he was stopped for going 85-90 on the way back from Martinsville (again double nickel days). The trooper looked at Pat, walked away for awhile, came back, smiled and said in a very reverential tone “ Father, as a good catholic, there’s no way I can give a man of the cloth a ticket for this, but for the rest of the drive do you think you could try to keep it below 75?” We must have laughed about that for 100 miles—but at the same time it kept us awake at the end of a long weekend when we really needed it.
   I will miss the many times we left for a track knowing that God had something in mind for us. Like the time we drove all the way to the Shangri-la track in NY, only to get rained out after arriving. On the way back we stopped at Five-Mile point that was running, and after that show, we finished up at Orange County . Pat had an anxiety attack while there and he was taken to the hospital. We didn’t know it at the time but God was preparing us. As we were getting ready to leave the Hospital, an ambulance came in with a severely injured pit crewman from a track accident, followed by his wife and two small children. Pat spent hours in the early morning comforting that family that he didn’t know. To this day, I don’t know whether that person survived or not—it was touch and go—but I do know that God used His man to help the family through.
   For twenty-five years Reverend Pat was there for “his” racers, pit crews, track officials, and fans. In person and through his column, he tried to bring people closer to the Lord and their salvation. Now the Lord has called him home with a “good job, faithful servant”. The ministry will go on, doing God’s work as instructed, But, we will miss tremendously our friend, our brother, and, at times, our support - Patrick T.J. Evans. Rest in Peace, my friend, Dick Wibbelsman

   The ministry that Pat started has not only continued, but grown. The things most precious to Pat remain the focus of what we do. I think Pat is jumping for joy as he sees the rest of the story unfold before his eyes. God is faithful to those who love Him.

   Thanks for walking down memory lane with me, I feel honored to have known Pat and share with him the level of commitment he had for this ministry. We have reached another milestone in our journey. Let the record show that Pat’s vision is being fulfilled.


   I did do some road work this week. The schedule called for Thompson on Thursday, Stafford on Friday and Watkins Glen on Saturday. The weather put a snag in Friday’s plans but it allowed me a few hours of shuteye before heading out to the Glen.
   Thursday saw Danny Cates win his first Modified Feature and he did so with patience. As the leaders swapped paint and eventually exchanged visits with the wall, Danny sat in position to benefit. He did and drove home to his first victory. I am sure there are many more to come from this talented driver.
   We did have an issue in the Mini-Stock feature. Rick Blanchard injured his wrist in a lap one accident. He was transported to the hospital and will need to see a specialist for repairs. As I spoke with Rick he shared with me that he wished he was a little more patient and waited a little longer before he made his move.
   I have said it before and will say it again, you can’t win on the first lap, but you sure can lose. Being patient can pay tremendous dividends. Keep Rick in your thoughts and prayers as he heals up. Thanks to all who helped get his car secured and transported back to his garage.
   I headed out to New York early Saturday morning. Early enough to meet the bar crowd coming home. The trip went well enough but New York sure is big! At Watkins I met up with some old friends, Al Robinson and Lee Roy. Lee has been more successful at losing a few extra pounds than Al or I, so much so I didn’t even recognize him. Al had the quote of the week though, “If there is a famine, him and I are in the last group standin.” Lee was helping out Marsh Racing as an extra spotter for the race. Al was the voice of Watkins Glen. Oh yeah there was one other old friend I met in Victory Lane, Martin Truex Sr. He was there to celebrate the first victory of son Ryan who made a daring last lap, second to the last turn pass of road racing ace Carl Long to post his first victory in the series. Ryan made it three members of the same family to win in the series as his father and older brother Martin Jr. have also won races. Ryan’s first call from Victory Lane was to his brother!
   We have a couple weeks off the road to catch up on some things around the house. Take some time, rest up and visit your local track for some live racing action. See you on the road, Rev. Don.

   Be a witness for our Lord with the ministry decals and apparel. See them at the Online Apparel Store at 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 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 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



June 10
- This retired driver and proud parents of Massachusetts ProStock driver Frank, share their 41st anniversary.

June 13
- "Deuce" and his wife from Somersworth, NH are former owners of the NASCAR CWES/GRAND NATIONAL Marc Motorsports team and have their 44th anniversary.
SCOTT & JOAN NICKEL - This Thompson Speedway photographer and wife share their 27th anniversary.
SAL & FRIEDA MAGLIO - These fans from Scranton, PA have their 36th wedding anniversary.

June 14
- 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 49th anniversary.

June 16
- The East's leading weekly racing publication, led by Publisher Lenny Sammons, celebrates its 44th anniversary.
DANA & LAURIE SAVARY - This Plymouth, MA Seekonk Speedway Street Stock driver and wife celebrate 28 years together.

June 17
- from Catskill NY are celebrating their 3rd wedding anniversary.


June 10

- Oxford, MA former Modified driver.
STEVE DARNE - Woodbridge, VA LMSC driver.
NICOLE MICHILOWSKI - Daughter of Lebanon Valley driver Mark and wife Robin is 18.
ASHLEY DUNAY - Daughter of Stafford SKMod crew member Joe.
THOMAS DUNAY - Son of Stafford SKMod crew member Joe.

June 11
- Rochester, NY asphalt Modified driver.
KRISTA HOWARD - Daughter of Waterford Speedbowl faithful Tom and wife Carol is 19.

June 12
- Center Harbor, NH NASCAR CWES driver.
LEE SHERWOOD - Waverly, NY NASCAR CWES/Modified driver.
SCOTT WOLF - From Freeport, NY a Riverhead Raceway driver.
MITCH POOLE - Lebanon Valley Modified driver.
PAT FEZZA - Riverhead Raceway Tech. Inspector.

June 13
- 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 Vickie's mom.
ADRAI SCHAFFER - One of Grandview Mod driver Rick and wife Donna's children.
FRANK L'ETOILE, JR. - Son of Massachusetts ProStock driver Frank and wife Betty is 17.

June 14
- 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 Stadium 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 9.

June 15
- Elbridge, NY NASCAR CWES driver.
TREVOR NICKEL - This aspiring photographer is the son of Thompson Speedway photographer Scott and wife Joan.

June 16
- Frenchtown, NJ dirt Modified 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.
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.


PO Box 586
Tolland, CT, 06084

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Racing With Jesus Ministries Website


SourceRev Don Rivers / Racing With Jesus Ministries
Posted: June 11, 2009


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