I had the opportunity to attend some races these past weeks that carry more
meaning than “just another race”. We call them “Memorial Races”. These races
help us remember competitors and others connected with our racing community.
Who is on your mind today? Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior,
Many of us have memories of racers that have left us. We keep their
memory alive by taking time to recognize them and honor them during the
racing season. Last week Riverhead remembered Tommy Baldwin, Richie Evans
and Charlie Jarzombek. Three of "Charging" Charlie Jarzombek's vintage race
cars were on hand as well as a "Tiger" Tom Baldwin 7NY. Racers don’t want to
forget the past; they celebrate it and use that memory to keep them pressing
forward to race another day.
I know these verses make an appearance in this column often but they are
significant in encouraging us to persevere.
Hebrews 12:1-2; Therefore, since we are
surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses,
Remembering the perseverance of others helps us continue on against the
obstacles we face everyday. Those that are gone too soon do not leave us
alone; they leave us with their example and the encouragement that that
let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily
And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes
on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.
The other Saturday night I was at Waterford Speedbowl for the Shane
Hammond Memorial. Shane left us in the prime of his life, but he didn’t
leave us alone. He left a deep impression on our hearts. His life, the
difficulties he overcame to just get into a racecar. I still can see the
smile on his face. We joke about it often, but Shane was living the dream.
I had the opportunity to share Victory Lane with his mom on Saturday. The
joy on her face as she presented trophies to the winners in Shane’s honor.
She truly was letting his memory supply the strength for her to carry on.
She not only is living life, but she is using her life and effort to help
others be safer as they race through the Shane Hammond Believe Foundation.
Sometimes I wonder how difficult it would be to carry on if one of my
children died. I wonder where the strength would come from. I think of
Shane’s mom, Deb Marvuglio, and I know I’ll have someone to emulate.
Deb took the time this week to pour out her heart, to share what is
really going on behind her smile and effervescent personality. She allowed
me to share it with you this week.
“37, is it just a number?”
“The number 37, what does it mean to you? To me, it's not just a Midget
that was transformed over the years from black to white to yellow & blue.
The 37 was a dream that became a reality for my son, Shane. A young man who
had an infectious smile and bright blue eyes. Shane learned about risk and
reward and much more by 15. An amazing karter whether it was dirt or
asphalt, he had a handle on it.
Fast forward to 15, emergency brain and spine surgery where the risk is
death and the reward life; but what kind of life was yet to be determined.
Shane survived and with determination like no other. He fought through pain
and the odds against him to get back to karting. When the pain became too
much he looked for a car that offered more suspension and protection from
the grueling jarring of karting. NEMA that was the ticket; that was the open
wheel racing of choice.
Shane crewed with the Cabral's and that magical day they let him take out
their car at Waterford , he beamed as he climbed out. There was one person
missing that day, his grandmother (his biggest fan, Betty).
We looked at each other and he said, "She's here, she didn't miss it".
Those magic moments continue as his brother Anthony "the Bug" Marvuglio
experienced that feeling at Waterford on more than one occasion. Bug has
expressed, "Mom, he was in the car with me", referring to Shane. Waterford
is a magical place for me and my boys.
Back to the 37, not just a number, a tribute to Shane's Grandfather, Jack
Glockner a man that helped Shane live his dream every step of the way. Shane
and Jack (Pa) worked side by side and Pa bought him that last 37 from Bob
Bradbury another NEMA legend that was taken too soon.
So as you get ready for the Shane Hammond Memorial, please think about
the risks, the rewards and the price; is it all worth it, are you making the
right choices. Every race is a risk, life is a risk. Shane's last race, in
the Jarret #4, was a reward to him, he felt respected, excited, and worthy.
He knew he could do whatever it takes. Sometimes our days don't go as
planned and that one day in April, God had other plans; He took Shane out of
his painful body and gave him eternal life..... For whosoever
believeth.....shall have eternal life. (John 3:15)”
Deb Marvuglio, Shane and Anthony's mom, Shane Hammond Believe Foundation
THOUGHTS FROM THE ROAD
TAKE TWO - I didn’t make the trip west to Iowa last week, we had
Vacation Bible School at Mount Carmel Christian Church and I needed to be a
part of things. Our Mid-West Chaplain, Mike Kray covered things and sent in
this report. Thanks Mike for your willingness to serve the racing community.
The day started with bright sunshine as the teams prepared for the race.
The day progressed well for all teams as only one car had an issue during
the hot laps and a backup car was used. 43 cars qualified and started the
race. The top 3 to 5 cars battled hard the last 15 laps and the lead changed
several times. Brandon Jones took the checkered flag followed by Kenzie
Ruston and Cole Custer.
Chapel service was attended by approximately 25 people from both the K &
N East and West. We discussed how Christ gives us victory over the storms in
our lives. In Matthew 8:23-27 we see where Jesus and His disciples got in a
ship to cross the Sea of Galilee . They had a long and hard day and I am
sure they were glad to relax and enjoy the ride. The disciples were
experienced fisherman but the Sea of Galilee is approximately 13 miles long
and 7 miles wide and surrounded by mountains. A wind can come up swiftly and
the waters can go from calm to 15 to 20 foot waves very quickly. The
disciples were scared and Jesus was sleeping. I am sure they woke Jesus up
by shouting, "Lord, save us! We're going to drown!" Jesus asked why they
were afraid and told them they had little faith. Jesus then rebuked the wind
and the waves and the Sea of Galilee became extremely calm.
We can so easy forget to pray and wonder why things go wrong. Then we get
upset or lose our temper impacting all those around us - our crew, our
family, the driver. We set out for Iowa after a week of unpacking and trying
to find things after moving. We moved from a house we had lived in for 43
years. So many things were running through my mind, trying to make sure I
had bills paid and got them in the mail, getting packed for the trip,
setting the GPS in the car and as we pulled out of the driveway my wife
reminded me I had forgotten the most important thing - pray for the trip.
Trying to pray while listening to the GPS and looking out for traffic simply
does not work. That prayer needs to be a priority and let the rest fall into
place. Here Jesus was ready to listen and I forgot to speak to Him!
Things can happen in racing. We can do our best with our car and the
setup and things can still happen. The first Indy 500 I attended Wally
Dallenbach, Sr, had the fastest and best car. Leading lap after lap for over
half the race and then he picked up debris in a tire and as he slowed down
the engine gave out. Bad weather came in and if he could have lasted 12 more
laps he would have won a rain shortened race.
When things come up in our lives talk to Jesus and let Him calm the
storms in our life. Psalm 119:10 says "With a whole heart I sought you. Let
me not wander from your commandments." We are reminded to delight in God's
Word. Yet when those events take place we call "racing happens" the storm is
right there in our lives and now we need to have the courage to take our
issues with Him and let Jesus Christ give us Victory in all circumstances.
Bob reminded us of "A Christian's Job Description" by giving us 20
examples of a Christian's MO. The first reminder is to love one another and
really be the example to others and Christ is the example to us. Bob was a
pleasure to be with the entire day as we prayed for the drivers and served
the NASCAR officials.
Let us rejoice and remember no matter what happens Jesus loves us. He
wants us to talk to Him and is ready and willing to be in our lives -
eternally & forever! Amen!
MID-AUGUST ROAD TRIP - Well here we go, Stafford/Watkins Glen on
Friday, Thompson on Wednesday, Virginia International on Saturday and
Bristol on Wednesday. Back and forth and in between, it will be interesting
to see what God has planned.
YOUR SUPPORT IS NEEDED - In August of every year we face a
challenge to keep going. The racing season takes a toll on us physically,
mentally and spiritually. The resources needed to continue get scarce. We
need you by our side. Please lift us up in your prayers and remember to
partner with us financially. It is important as we run the race marked out
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
http://www.rwjm.com/store. Send us your prayer and counseling needs no matter
what part of our racing family you are in, or give us a call. Remember that
God loves you, we love you and
Jesus is Lord over Auto Racing. GOD BLESS.
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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
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