The heat of the summer has set in and the last few weeks we have been in the
heat of the battle. What does it take to be able to endure the heat and walk
through the fire? What do we need to be victorious in the heat of the
battle? Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
The K&N Race at Columbus was on of the hottest I can remember. It
seemed standing still was enough physical activity to bring about drops of
sweat. I talked with some of the drivers and asked them how they deal with
the heat in the cars. Keep in mind that these cars donít have all the fancy
cooling devices you would find on the cars in the upper division.
The comments were interesting, they shared that when they are
running, concentrating on driving and racing they donít notice the heat, but
the moment they stop the heat hits them like a brick. In the heat of the
battle we are so focused on the task at hand we donít realize the
environment we are surrounded by.
That happens so many time in our lives, we get so focused on what
we want to accomplish we fail to see what is going on around us. That can be
a good thing if we are focused on serving God and doing His will. I remember
the words that Isaiah the prophet shared with us from God;
ďDo not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass
through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not
set you ablaze.
For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
lets us know that when we face the challenges of living life he is there to
help us through. When we are in the heat of the battle he will deliver us.
Why? Because He is our Savior!
We have faced many challenges this past week and the summer heat is
only one of the challenges. But we need to remember that it is God who we
need to depend on to help us through. He has redeemed us.
Live with confidence in your service to Him and focus on what is
important to God. God can help you face the flames in the heat of the battle
and not be burned. I will expand on this in the next few weeks. I am looking
forward to exploring this with you..
THOUGHTS FROM THE ROAD
RIVERHEAD GETS WARMED UP - The summer heat was in place as
the Gladiators arrived at the coliseum to wage battle in their 600
horsepower chariots. The heat race gave us an indication of the main event
night hold in store; hard fought, paint swapping, tire rubbing and the
bumping and banging that made this place famous.
When the dust settled hometown boy, Justin Bonsignore broke through
with his first victory on the tour. In doing so he put behind him many of
the challenges he has faced in his sophomore year touring with the Whelen
I missed victory lane and the celebration; there were other issues
to deal with on this night. Many thanks to her fellow spotters and the
medical staff in Riverhead as Julie Stefanik experienced some health issues
during the race. With Mike at her side she is undergoing tests with the hope
of identifying the issue. When I headed back home she was alert, resting and
not all that excited to be confined to the hospital. Please keep Julie and
Mike and their entire family in your thoughts and prayers.
As I walked out through the emergency waiting room another familiar
face was there, Bryon Chew, with swelling on the back of his hand from an
earlier encounter with his steering wheel as a result of a tangle on the
track. Just some precautionary x-rays, but I am sure this was not his first
choice of ways to spend the early hours of Sunday morning.
Riverhead has a way of helping us define our priorities and this
night would be no different. It would help us determine what is truly
important in life. When Mike Stefanik pulled off the track in the middle of
the race, ran to his wifeís side and rode to the hospital with her, he set
the standard high. He let us all know the place family should have in each
of our lives.
WATERFORD REMEMBERS - Rev. Ray reported; It was a hot
afternoon when Rev. Dan Petfield and I arrived at Waterford Speedbowl,
Waterford, CT. We were there to support Deb Marvuglio and the NEMA family's
2nd Annual Shane Hammond #37 Memorial event. #25 Kieth Botelho won the main
event while #81 Andy Barrows won the NEMA Lite event.
The day turned out to be perfect racing on Nostalgia Night as many
fans arrived also to watch the Pintos and Chevelles of the 70's and 80's
from tracks like Danbury and Riverside compete in heated competition. It
seemed though, the question to us of the day was, "What did you guys think
about that prayer at NASCAR last week?". That's for another column.
Rev. Dan added; It was definitely an honor to be invited to be at
Waterford for the Shane Hammond Memorial Race. I see a lot of opportunity
for Deb and Tara to minister and watching both of them work to bring honor
and glory to God with the NEMA midgets was a blessing. I closed the drivers
meeting in prayer, but Deb read a poem to the drivers that came from the
heart. It definitely set the tone for the race that evening, but also
honored her son Shane. The NEMA drivers drove that race to remember a friend
and fellow competitor.
We had a moment of silence before the invocation to remember John
Hoyt - the MRS race director who tragically passed away on Friday, but the
evening was to remember Shane. I thank God who gave Ray and me the
opportunity to minister for him on this evening.
Thanks again to the folks at Waterford Speedbowl who made the
evening of racing special. We look forward to seeing you down the road.
THE NAME CHANGES BUT THE TRACK IS THE SAME - Chuck checked
in from the Mid-West with a race report from Lucas Oil Raceway Indianapolis
(LORI) aka ORP aka IRP:
Saturday marked the 30th anniversary of the first Nationwide Series race
at this little track, and also apparently the last. The night was filled
with nostalgia, and bittersweet memories. This first race was won by Morgan
Shepherd, and he is most certainly still the crowd's favorite driver here -
garnering the biggest cheers when introduced. Morgan pulled to the infield
after 35 laps - tires and engines are just too expensive on this series, and
he may be retiring for good soon, himself.
I got several chances to talk with some of the young men from the
East series, Lewandowski, Dillon, Bayne, and saw but never got to talk with
two Truex's. Trevor Bayne is certainly front and center with the press,
cameras, and fans, but this young man still puts God where he should - first
and foremost. Jack Rousch spent most of his time with his young guns - he
really looks like a concerned father taking care of these young men.
The night before, Austin Dillon had a good night in the truck race
- almost a great night. In the ending laps, Todd Bodine appeared to run up
straight into Austin and put him in the wall, as though he didn't know he
was there. Truth is, he didn't. Todd took the blame right away and made sure
to go find Dillon after the race. It was great to see Austin and Todd
talking about the event in quiet, calm discussion - obviously sharing a lot
of respect both ways. Coming off his first win in Nashville, and winning the
Pole in Indy, this young man near the top of the points list is not through
We had a slightly tamer version of the invocation today, but
everyone is still talking about the invocation at Nashville. Seems to me,
this much interest in prayer has to be a good thing. God doesnít expect us
to come to him perfect - he just wants us to come to him. The flag jumper
was really at his limits with the wind, and if you watched closely, you see
a few teams scattering (me included) as he swooped in at over 50 mph for his
landing. I think I still have his footprint on my head! It wasn't on TV, but
we also had a parade lap by the 911 memorial, carrying steel from the WTC.
Everyone still remembers and this group makes sure that continues.
The Trevor vs. Ricky show was sure taking shape, running one and
two, and with Edwards right behind, It looked like a Rousch tri-fecta in the
making. Unfortunately for Jack, a blown engine put Trevor behind the wall
and set up a green-white-checker that let Brad Keselowski take home the
I got to meet the newest MRO chaplain, Steve, and he is actually
doing double duty as they are also short a Cup chaplain. Seems we all could
use a few more good men in this business - pray about it, and if you are
called - talk to us, there are opportunities everyway to share our faith.
WORKERS NEEDED - Rev. Dan commented; ďI find Chuckís
comments regarding the lack of chaplains interesting. I was at Lebanon
Valley last Sunday night and Brian Carter, of the World Racing Group, asked
if somehow a chaplain would be able to travel with the World of Outlaws
Sprint cars. This is heavy on my heart, as well as on Ed Harkinís heart - he
is the Finish Line Ministries chaplain for the Dirt Modifieds and Lebanon
Valley. Keep this in your prayers as there is a real need.
VALENTI MODIFIED RACING SERIES FAMILY - It is with a heavy
heart that I report the loss of John Hoyt, series director. It was a shock
to everyone when the word filtered out last Friday and our thoughts and
prayers go out to everyone connected to the series. John did an excellent
job guiding the series in its development years and was just beginning to
reap the fruits of his labor. Please lift the entire series and Johnís
family up in your prayers. They get back in action this Saturday night at
Beech Ridge; it will be a challenging night.
Until next time, be a witness for our Lord with the ministry decals and
apparel. See them at the Show Your Faith Apparel Store at
www.rwjm.com. Send us
your prayer and counseling needs no matter what part of our racing family
you are in, or give us a call. Until next time, remember that God loves you,
we love you and
Jesus is Lord over Auto Racing. GOD BLESS.
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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
RICH and PAT DURANTI - This LM driver from the Waterford Speedbowl and his
wife celebrate 34 years of marriage.
SCOTT & HEATHER PUNCH- This NNC crewman and wife in Claremont, NC have their
GREG RAY- Plano, TX IRL driver.
BOB MARTI- Crewman on the 57 WAAS Modified at Stafford.
CAROL SAVLUK- Wife of former Modified driver, Wayne, of Lisbon, CT.
JOANN SCHERER- Sister of Northampton, PA NASCAR WMT driver Eric Beers.
DILLON ZACHARIAS- The son of Modified driver and part of the track
management team Rick and wife Pam.
BRENDA VENTH- Daughter of former Harbach X90 Modified crewman George Venth.
BILL SLATER- "Wild Bill" of East Hartford, CT Stafford Motor Speedway
staffer and retired great NASCAR Modified Sportsman driver in the 60's and
70's of the famous CT Valley Rocket "V-8."
JAMIE AUBE- Charlotte, VT NASCAR Former KNPSE driver, three-time champion
and now crew chief.
SHAWN PARKER- NH driver, son of Parker's Express Trucking owner Ted.
JEFF GORDON- Multi-time Nextel Cup champion driver of the Hendricks
DON SCERENCITS- Northampton, PA AARN Subscrition Sales Field Rep.
KIP STOCKWELL- Vermont based NASCAR KNPES/late model driver and now farmer.
RICH WOODLAND, JR.- Templeton, CA NASCAR West driver.
KEVIN LITTLEFIELD- Salem, NH fabricator/crewman on the former #77 NASCAR
JACK FLOWERS- Charlotte, NC NSC writer.
KYLE GUENNETTE- Son of Fairfield, CT fan "Fast Eddie".
ELISABETH MINTER- A daughter of Martinsville, VA WODY Radio's "Uncle
Wendell" and wife Deloris.
EDDIE MARSHALL- NY D.I.R.T. Modified driver.
CRAIG RAUDMAN- Redding, CA NASCAR West driver.
JEB BURTON- Son of former NSC driver Ward and wife Tabitha.
DEBBIE DIONNE- Wife of Gary, both of Acton, CA RWJM Counselors and Gary a
Hollywood car stuntman and RWJM West Coast Coordinator.
BRUCE D'ALLESANDRO- East Hartford, CT former Riverside Park and NASCAR WMT
AL HANNA- CT based alchohol Funny Car driver.
RICHIE YANETTA, Sr.- Of Bridgewater, NJ, the father of Go-Kart drivers Rich,
Jr. and Jeff.
JACK SPRAGUE- Concord, NC NSC/NNS/CTS driver.
CHARLIE PASTERYAK- Lisbon, CT NASCAR WMT/MRS driver/owner.
LORIN ARTHOFER- Bath, PA Mahoning Valley Speedway based Modified driver and
proud dad of driver Jason.
TOMMY ELLIS- Retired Richmond, VA BGN driver.
GREG TOMAINO- Brother of Howell, NJ popular NASCAR WMT driver Jamie Tomaino.
SAMANTHA HOWARD- A daughter of retired Waterford Speedbowl LM driver Tom and
JERRY TOMARCHIO- Former driver at East Windsor and Flemington.
BRIANNA PAGE- This quarter midget driver at the Garden State Quarter Midget
Race Club at the Wall Township Speedway.
MICHAEL DRANSFIELD- Another Garden State Quarter Midget racer.
CHRIS KOPEC- Massachusetts based crew chief for son Dylan and former Mod
BRITTANY TOMAINO- Howell, NJ NASCAR WMT driver Jamie and wife Cheryl's
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