Saturday, July 4, 2015

Kyle Busch Returns to the Scene of His Accident

This week's race at Daytona International Speedway brings Kyle Busch to scene of the accident that side-lined him from racing for many weeks.

Since returning to racing, his life has been on the upward track.  He and his wife Samantha welcomed their son in May.  Last week, Kyle Busch won the Sprint Cup race at Sonoma.

Things haven't started out that well for him this weekend.  During Friday's first practice session, Busch was involved in a multi-car wreck that began with as Busch and Brad Keselowski.  Busch's car was heavily damaged and he was forced to go to a back-up car.  Keselowski was able to return to the track in his car as Busch observed, "He got away unscathed and trashed everybody else's stuff."

Will Busch let it go or will there be retribution during Sunday's race?  

He did show a spirit of gratitude this week by returning to the Daytona hospital where he was treated immediately after the wreck that broke his leg and foot.  He complimented them on the care and expertise shown him during his stay there.  

Is this where we will see the off-track Kyle and the on-track Kyle?  Will he demonstrate the high-spirited and volatile nature we came to expect from him or will he show us the new, and some might say mature, nature that has been evidencing through this year's troubles.

We will check back late Sunday night and we'll all see the results.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Michigan International Speedway Takes a Stand with NASCAR

NASCAR issued a statement on Thursday, July 2, 2015 regarding the display of the Confederate Flag at their facilities and NASCAR events.

Michigan International Speedway signed on in support of NASCAR's stand.

The statement read, "As members of the NASCAR industry, we join NASCAR in the desire to make our events among the most fan-friendly, welcoming environments in all of sports and entertainment."

They went on to say, "This will include the request to refrain from displaying the Confederate Flag at our facilities and NASCAR events.

No doubt, this stand will generate much controversy among NASCAR fans.

I see the problem of one of perception.  In Michigan and other northern tracks, many fans see the Confederate flag as a symbol of what was fought against in the Civil War.  The Civil War is seen as a fight to free the slaves.

However, this perception is not shared by many in the South.  While living in the South, I've heard the Civil War  referred to as the War of Northern Aggression.  That puts a different spin on everything.  That explains the opinion of one NASCAR fan quoted this week as she sat in the infield at Daytona International Speedway.

"We're not flying it for controversy.  Every race, we fly it.  We've got the American flag, the rebel flag, the POW.  It all to me goes together.  Our freedom.  It's Dixie."

But the pro-flag fans have to realize that not all fans feel this way when they see this flag.  It can be offensive and a symbol of repression.

So to NASCAR fans, let's realize our sport is no longer a Southern sport but enjoyed by millions outside of the South.

Kudos to Michigan International Speedway for taking a stand that may cost them fans and attendance at the August race.  However, it may bring in more fans who are happy to see an organization that is willing to take a hard stance because they feel it is right.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

NASCAR Drivers Taking it One Day at a Time

Cristy Lane sang it well many years ago.

One day at a time sweet Jesus 
That's all I'm asking from you. 
Just give me the strength 
To do everyday what I have to do. 
Yesterday's gone sweet Jesus 
And tomorrow may never be mine. 
Lord help me today, show me the way 
One day at a time.   

This week has been a rough one for the NASCAR family.  And just as a family rallies together to face challenges, the NASCAR family is coming together for their own to face their challenges one day at a time.

The week started with news that Brian Vickers had developed more blood clots and would have to again begin taking blood thinners.  This would mean he couldn't drive for Michael Waltrip Racing where he had just returned after missing the first two races of the year because of a recent heart surgery.

Vickers shared his story.  After experiencing some pain in his chest, he went to the doctor.

"I did have small clots.  It was still early stage.  I was going to be back on blood thinners for at least three months and then try to figure out what's next from there."

When asked if he would be returning to the #55 if he is cleared for racing, Vickers replied,

 "Well, if I am able to race, I wouldn't want to be anywhere else than the Aaron's Dream Machine.  I've been very blessed to have this opportunity the last couple years to be in the 55 Camry and the opportunity to work with Aarons and bring in new partners."

"I've got to get through today and tomorrow and then we'll work about what's next and what's after that."

Vicker's news was followed very closely by an announcement from Joe Gibbs Racing that J.D. Gibbs, president of JGR, had been diagnosed with "symptoms impacting areas of brain function."

The NASCAR family was quick to lend their support to one of the premier teams in NASCAR.  
"All members of the NASCAR and France family extend our thoughts and prayers to J.D. Gibbs and his loved ones.  We've all watched J.D. grow up within our community, and he always has represented himself, his family, the entire Joe Gibbs Racing organization and NASCAR with the utmost professionalism, enthusiasm and energy.  We wish him the best during this time and eagerly anticipate his recovery."

Saturday, March 28  Kyle Larson, Sprint Cup driver for Chip Ganassi who was Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year in 2014,  fainted during an afternoon autograph session.  Although he was alert and awake on the way to the hospital, Larson was going to be checked out by doctors at a local hospital.  At the time I'm writing this, there has been no additional news of Larson's condition.  

One day at a time is all we are promised.  One day at a time is how we have to live because we don't know what tomorrow will bring.  

Our prayers go out for these three members of the NASCAR family.  And for all of you are are facing your own challenges this week.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Faith Works its Quiet Work in our Lives

One of the most touching stories about Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s concerns his win at the Daytona 500 in 2014.

Stevie Waltrip, wife of famed NASCAR driver and FOX announcer Darrell Waltrip, has a quiet ministry to encourage Dale Earnhardt Junior.  She writes out a Bible verse for Junior to place in his race car for encouragement.

Stevie Waltrip's habit of giving a Bible verse started with Dale's father.  Each week she supplied Dale Senior with a verse to place on the dash of his race car while he race in the weekly NASCAR race.

Darrell Waltrip tells the story here.  Stevie started giving her husband a verse on duct tape or a note card each week for his car.  When Dale Earnhardt Sr. saw this, he asked, "Where's mine?"

From that point on, Stevie provided a verse for him as well.  She spent time praying each week for which verse to write out.

The Bible verse given to Junior this past week an it was placed on his car dash was Isaiah 40:28-31
 Do you not know?
    Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
    and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary
    and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. joined the Twitter world as he promised to do if he won the Daytona 500.  This week we have had an unprecedented look into the world of Junior.  He is using Twitter at rate of dozens of posts each day.

So the quiet ministry of Stevie Waltrip became public to the half-million Twitter followers of Junior.
What is your quiet ministry?  A little action, done for good, can effect the life of one person or may effect the life of countless others.

Please share your quiet ministry with us.