Rev. Don Rivers
This time of year brings back some memories for me. I remember those who I
am thankful for. Take a look around are there people you are thankful for?
Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
November brings us the celebration of Thanksgiving. We also begin
the celebration of the past season with banquets that honor our champions.
Who are some of the people you are thankful for during the racing season?
Volunteer crew members come to mind, the folks that gave so much of their
time to help others race.
I think of a friend and fellow chaplain, Rick Satkowski. Last year
about this time we attended the Stafford Motor Speedway Banquet together. He
did the blessing that night remembering everyone who contributed to making
the season a success. He also thanked God for a safe racing season. As Rick
and I drove home that night we reminisced about the trips we had taken
together, seminary classes and our time with Racing with Jesus Ministries.
A few days later Rick went home to be with the Lord. We need to
remember that our time here is short. Donít take for granted the help and
sacrifice of others; especially those who do it for free.
Sometimes in life we donít know where things will lead. Rick did a
favor for someone and one thing led to another and we ended up in the garage
at New Hampshire. There we met Brother Pat and he invited us to come along
and participate in Chapel. The rest as they say is history.
I remember the first night we sat in the pace car at Thompson
Speedway. As we led the Whelen Modified Tour through the parade laps we were
like kids in the candy store. God really means it when He says He will bless
you beyond your wildest dreams. Rick and I felt blessed that night and every
time we were allowed to minister to those who race. We knew this was where
God needed us to be.
I know God has a plan and reason for everything. He used Rickís
willingness to serve others as the door of opportunity to get us involved.
God then used me to step up to the plate when Brother Pat got sick. I am
where I am today because of Godís plan and the willingness of others to be
used by Him.
I am thankful for having a true friend like Rick. Our relationship
was ordained by God and God had his hand on it. I will miss him. There will
always be an empty place next to me in the pace car for Rick.
Philippians 1:3-6, I thank my
God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always
pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day
until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you
will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
Remembering those who make what we do possible is an act of
worship. When we honor those who follow Godís call, we honor God. Know that
God will not leave anything undone, He will complete it.
Make an effort these coming weeks to say thanks to those who serve
you. Make it a point to let those people know how much they mean to you.
Remember all those who have given so much for you.
THOUGHTS FROM THE ROAD
JOHN BLEWETT III MEMORIAL NORTH SOUTH SHOOTOUT - Has it
really been seven years? Dan and I missed the first event but have made each
one since. As Dan and I paced the field in the RWJM Pace Car we reminisced
about how far we had come. We are always welcomed with open arms in Concord
and made to feel right at home. Thanks to everyone at C & C and Concord
Motorsports Park for their hospitality.
This year we drove to Concord with the newly wrapped Dodge Pace
Car; the unique feature of the new wrap is the commemorative hood. On the
hood are the faces and names of those that have been lost recently to the
racing community. Thanks to Chris Zacharias for the inspiration and
perspiration behind the theme.
Two of those remembered had a history at the NSS, John Blewett III
was the inaugural winner and first repeat champion, winning the second year
also. Because of his connections with the event the name was updated to
Brian Pack was a southern modified driver who enjoyed competing at
Concord not only with the other drivers but along side his dad Gene. It was
a special moment as Gene and his wife came over and took some time to
The hood was meant to honor those who contributed to our love of
racing. Others on the hood include Stub Fadden, Tom Baldwin Sr. and Shane
Hammond, all loved the sport of auto racing. The hood proved to be popular
during the pit party as we were able to help some folks remember those they
loved to see compete. The car will also be on display at Motorsports 2010 in
the Racing with Jesus Ministries Booth.
Before the invocation I was asked to speak to those assembled about
the tragedy at Fort Hood. The civilian police officer who shot the gunman
and one of the soldiers who died were from the local Charlotte area. Please
allow me to reiterate, we need to start standing up for something or the
freedom we enjoy will be taken away. Please donít think someone else will,
do it yourself. If you want America to return to its past glory we all need
to make our feelings known. I thank God for the country he gave us.
SPEAKING OF GIVING THANKS - A few weeks ago Shaneís mom with
the help of Bobby Seymour and others held the first driving school connected
with Shaneís foundation at Waterford Speedbowl. She sends her thanks.
How do I begin to thank Bobby Seymour of Race Depot and
First Turn Racing, Terry Eames of Waterford Speedbowl and Tom Fox the
Director of Operations at Waterford who hung with us all day. HOW? How do I
thank all the volunteers who made the day possible, not only possible but
made it an AMAZING day and to operate as smoothly as it did? How do I thank
Norm Marx with all his photo taking so we all have memories of the day?
This is where I begin; posting it on the internet. I don't have
everyone's names, addresses or emails. What I can say is that as a mom, a
promoter of the event I was humbled by the thanks, the smiles and the way to
go attitudes that surrounded me. I can't begin to thank everyone, especially
the drivers that committed to coming and actually showed. Many with no
deposits required, (heck) we barely had time to pull it together.
I am pleased to say this will be an annual event and if possible we
will do it more often, perhaps Spring and Fall. Thank you all from the
bottom of my heart.
Lastly as my son Anthony strapped me into the Mikitarian #9 with me
in his( Shanes) suit & helmet and, embracing Shane's racing gloves, I
entered the track and someone else took over. I just drove like, I knew what
to do, it was incredible. Don't ever drive faster than your angel can
fly.....but my angel is a speed demon and I came off the track with a new
appreciation of life, speed, racing & love.
God Bless all of you.
Shane Hammond Believe Foundation
Fr. DAN NEEDS OUR PRAYERS - Fr. Dan Bitsko, former Riverhead
Chaplain recently had a serious stroke directly after he accepted an award
from the Smithtown Historical Society. Father Dan was taken to St. Catherine
of Siena Medical Center in Smithtown for treatment. He was operated on and
in critical condition for many days. Friday, Father Dan was awake and
recognized those around him. He is ready to enter the long and difficult
road to recovery. Please keep him in your prayers.
BACK TO CONCORD - Rev. Dan and his wife Deb will make the
return trip to Concord this weekend and represent RWJM at the combined
Touring Series Banquet. I am sure he will have a full report for us next
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 Coastís 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
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
MIKE & JULIE STEFANIK - The West Greenwich, RI multi-time NASCAR WMT,
including 2006, and NASCAR CWES champion and wife/GM of Koszela Speed
Warehouse share their 25th anniversary.
FRANKIE AND BOBBIE SCHNEIDER - The Old Master and his wife celebrate
21 years together.
DON & ROBIN LaHUE - This Vermont couple, he a driver at NH's White
Mountain Motorsports Park, have their 32nd anniversary.
BILL III & JANET BRICE - This racing official and wife (aka Mother
Goose) have their 17th anniversary.
JERRY & LINDA VENNE - This Bow, NH media person and wife have their
BOB POLVERARI - Riverside Park Speedway multi-time Modified champion,
retired NASCAR Modified Tour and TVMOD hotshoe.
BRIAN WEBBER - Long Island NASCAR CWES driver.
BARRY BODINE - CTS driving son of Geoff.
ROY PAYNE - Alvin, TX ARCA driver.
GEORGE SAVARY - Retired Massachusetts former Modified driver, and top
Mini Modified threat.
MIKE RYAN - Springfield, MA NASCAR WMT/NASCAR CWES crewman, brother
of photographer Gracie Ryan.
BOBBY CAVALLERO - Farmingdale, NJ Wall Township Speedway and Sprint
Cup fan turns 11.
JOHN ANDERSON - Southington, CT retired Mod driver.
RYAN OLSEN - Son of No. Haverhill, NH CWES Owner Mike and wife Vicki
KENNY TREMONT, JR. - West Sand Lake, NY Lebanon Valley Speedway based
TRACY GORDON - Strong, ME CWES driver.
RICK MILLER- Riverhead Raceway NASCAR Mod driver.
RENE CHARLAND - "Da' Champ", retired four time NASCAR Sportsman
champion and dad of Fonda driver Rick.
TOMMY PORTER, JR. - Savannah, GA All Pro driver.
LOUIE MAIETTA - Brother of multi-time Beech Ridge LM champion Mike,
ROGER SAVLUK - Lisbon, CT Savluk's Service partner.
DAN MESERVEY, JR. - West Chatham, MA NASCAR CWES/NASCAR WMT driver.
CHRIS CARLSON - Modified crewman from Danbury, CT.
LEE HENDRICKSON - Former Mod driver/owner dad of Lawrenceville, NJ
Wall Township Speedway Modified driver Wade.
BENTO WILLIAMS - Wall Township Speedway co-announcer Lee Greenwood's
great nephew is 19.
JIM YOUNG - The proprietor of www.RACESONGS.com and the writer of all
those famous theme songs for tracks and drivers and divisions, including
Racing with Jesus Ministries.
JOE BERTOTHY - Joe has helped many a racer with by giving of his time
and financial support, but he has also helped many come to know Christ as
their Savior. Thanks for your special gifts to the racing family, enjoy your
DICK THOMPSON - Martinsville Speedway VP of Public Relations.
JAMIE MILLS - Milford, DE Bridgeport Speedway Modified driver.
TIM MANGUS - Tioga Speedway based NASCAR WMT driver.
STEPHANIE BAKER - Daughter of Baker Carburetion's Steve and Sue.
DELORIS & ELISABETH HOPE MINTER - The wife and daughter of
Martinsville, Va WODY Gospel Radio's "Uncle" Wendell.
LAUREN GEORGIADES - Daughter of Steve, Crew Chief for brother Bobby's
CT Mod turns 16.
JEFFREY MAHER - East Windsor fan "Chipper" turns 17.
TERRY LABONTE - Corpus Christe, TX Retired Hendricks NSC driver.
MIKE GROFF - Los Angeles, CA IRL driver.
ROBERTO GUERRERO - San Juan Capistrano, CA IRL driver.
BO GUNNING - Bethlehem, CT Former WAARS Modified driver and '98 and
'02 Stafford champion.
FRED DUMACHOWSKI - Neshanic Station, NJ East Windsor, NJ Modified
PHILIP SMITH - NC Modified driver.
GEORGE KENT - Horseheads, NY Modified asphalt driver.
PHIL BARIL - NH ProStock driver.
BOB SCHERER - Mahoning Valley Speedway driver.
RAY PENFOLD - Yarmouth, ME retired LM great driver and proud father
of driver Billy.
CORINE SCHAFFER - Grandview Speedway Mod driver Rick and wife Donna's
daughter is 19.
SHARE YOUR SPECIAL OCCASIONS WITH YOUR RACING FAMILY.
SEND THEM TO:
RACING WITH JESUS MINISTRIES
PO Box 586
Tolland, CT, 06084
TheChromeHorn RWJM Archives
Racing With Jesus Ministries Website
Don Rivers / Racing With Jesus Ministries