This picture says it all! The pinnacle of racing: WINNING! Winning is what it’s all about peeps. We field race cars to win races, we field race cars to win souls. It was great to do both last Saturday night. My season ended with a dominate race car. All in all it was an event filled night at Evergreen Speedway and we took home the prize.
However, the prize wasn’t what one may think. The prize we took home this race, the final of our 2012 season, was character. Here’s what I mean, for 2012 I had high expectations for racing. I started the year excited about the prospective car counts being up, in fact, we averaged 19 per week for the season at Evergreen Speedway (kudos, to the High Road Promotions group). I also had high expectations for my team. With a whole new set of crew members, new setups for the race car and the same determination; I expected a lot!
There’s a scripture found in Proverbs, “A man plans his ways, but the Lord directs his steps.” I planned on a lot of success. If it were golf I would have expected a -3 under par after 18 holes. What I ended up with was bogey, doubles and triples, and a birdie on 18! We had ups and downs in 2012. I made mistakes behind the wheel, I had crashes and it seemed that if there was something going down on the track I was involved. From officiating, to black flags, to lappers it seldom went my way. That’s what made last Saturday so satisfying.
We led 41 of 50 laps in the first race. After a few cars had a bad crash involving fire the low groove of the track was not race ready, it was wet and not even close. I debated to go outside on the restart, but took my chances with the water on the track. When I hit the water the amazing car I had got loose, the driver behind got up into me, and finished me off. He didn’t have to do that, could have let me save it. I finished 12th. The car was phenomenal though, best we’d had this year! We started the second race, and got the lead on lap 2. We gave it up later in the race, but on lap 48 the leader was involved in a big crash. We inherited the lead, and went on to win the race. Pretty awesome night for us, after many challenging nights.
As I drove the final lap, I pressed the mic and told my guys, “This season has had high and lows.” I told them, “Thank you for sticking it out with me, You deserve this win.” I then said something I hadn’t planned on saying, “This season, with all it’s adversity, has made me a better man.” And with that I crossed the finish line first, my 6th career win, and did my best smokey to date (see the black on the track in the pic, yep that’s it). JZ, the smokey jedi master, has taught me well!
I so appreciate the people in racing. It’s hard to put on paper my true emotions. The people who got me started, those who’ve helped me over the years and moved on, those currently on my team, every sponsor who’s put their reputation in my hands on the track, and all the fans who love the sport: I thank you! I thank you for believing in me. I thank you for encouraging me. I thank you for giving me the time, the extra energy, and that morsel of faith. I say thank you. And I want to repay you!
I want to repay you by offering you the only gift worthy of what you’ve encouraged me with over the years, 2012 included. I want to offer you the gift of knowing the one for whom I race. I want you to know the Lord, Jesus Christ. I want to help you find him. I want to lead you to that relationship. I need you to know myself and The Rock Church where I pastor can help you get there. Don’t turn me off yet, you stuck with me this year on the track, hang through this blog post. Most people think of Church and they somehow believe, “They’re all the same.” At our Church we don’t believe they are all the same. We don’t do boring, we don’t do judgement, we don’t do legalism, we don’t do the things that turn most people off about Jesus. I want you to meet God, find your destiny, celebrate your wins, and do life with you. That’s the best, and only worthy way of repaying you for all the cheers, hours, dollars, claps, high fives, motivational speeches, parts, tires and everything you’ve given me. I’d love to see you at a service this fall.
This hangs in our halls, we live by it. 2012 has been a great year. On and off the track, highs and lows, ups and downs I want you to know your best days are ahead!