HOW LEADERS THINK ABOUT FINISHING IS DIFFERENT THAN FOLLOWERS

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“To finish first you must first finish.”

It doesn’t matter if you’re racing cars, bikes or lawnmowers; to finish first, you must first finish. These are famous racing words for every team, driver and their fans in motorsports. These words also matter in leadership, faith and life.

I’ve discovered there are three phases to finishing, and finishing first. They are:

1) Preparation. 2) Execution. 3) Processing. Below is a series of questions to ask in each phase. I don’t proclaim these to be the only questions to ask, but I’ve found them useful in fielding a racecar, and also useful in leading The Rock Church.

Racing and Live-Streaming!

 

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Fanschoice.tv 

Fanschoice.tv is a streaming site for racing venues all over the country.  This year Evergreen Speedway is one of the few tracks where Fanschoice has set up HD cameras all around the track that will stream live for every race.

Evergreen Speedway

Evergreen Speedway is my Home Track, located in Monroe, Washington, my hometown.  I’ve attended races here for years, and in the last several years won a few of them also!

Jeff, you race cars?

Jeff, Why Do you Race?

Racing is a Metaphor, Let’s talk Flow

2012 Archive: Racing and Soul Winning

RACE REPORT 5/4/13

Photo Credit Evergreen Speedway

What’s up everyone?  I hope you are enjoying your week.  I am bringing the race report from last weekend.  Been a busy couple days at the shop getting the race car prepared for this weekend at Evergreen Speedway.  The new car is spectacular.  It is also a bugger to clean!  However, my team from FINNISH AUTO SERVICES, LLC was on it first thing Monday.  We then had the team wiping down every nook and cranny of that beautiful white chassis.  Thank you to Andy and team from Superior Powder Coating for such great work (Yes, I had to put that in there this week for sure).

Listen, no jokes aside I’d like to start the report by confessing something, I cussed on the radio.  Here’s the backstory.  I had bet on Andy getting an earful from his spotter, and I drove into turn 3 way too hot.  I was hoping to get a “lookin,” and at least a half of groove.  Andy had been pushing up, so I thought I could pull it off.  HOWEVER, that’s not what happened at all; instead, I wrecked my friend.  Andy was clear and I wasn’t there at all.  He came down, as he should have. I got into him, and turned him.  Then I hit him again.  His night ended, my night continued, but I was bummed under caution, and told the team, “Sorry guys, I tried too hard….”  I ended with a profanity sigh.  It is now the running joke at the shop of my “sh..” word that came out.  I may be a pastor, but I am human, and that’s how I felt.  I was bummed to wreck someone who’s helped me so much this year already.  Sorry Andy.

Ok, enough of the stuff that caused me to swear, there was way more stuff that caused me to CHEER!  First off, an exceptional group of men and women came out to help me this year.  I couldn’t be more excited about what the future holds.  Secondly, I’ve got, in my opinion, the best setup man in the business helping me make the #70 fast.  Thank You John for your unending passion to not only build a beautiful racecar, but to see to it that it’s fast.  Finally, I couldn’t have done it this weekend without all my sponsors.  You know who you are:  National Guard, Sound Realty, Genesis Auto, SIR Construction, Bethneibert.com, Potentialcoach.info, Finnish Auto, Deyoung INC, JZ Motorsports, Monroe Autowerks.  It’s silly how much fun I get to have and how much support I’ve got to do it.  Super grateful for a great year lined up.

Super highlights:

Soldiers:  Taking photos with the soldiers present at Military Appreciation Night.  That was the most honoring thing I’ve ever done with a racing suit on.  Winning is good, honoring soldiers is better.

Photos:  I am building a new website for Knightrous Racing, LLC. It will feature really cool stuff.  My designer Michelle was at the races, and she took photos for the site.  Very Awesome.

Knightrous Apparel:  No kidding, in the first weekend I nearly sold out.  Ordered some more this week, should be here later in May.  Get some, because it’s cool.  And I am a tither, so your money goes to helping great causes!

Lead some laps:  Got to lead in the first race, and that’s always cool.  Had the weirdest thing happen.  My car shut off on the backstretch early in the race.  We think it was because of the switch extension, that was my diagnosis anyway.  I pulled it off and threw it out the window, then no problems the rest of the night.

Charged:  After getting the front end of a north bound…, aka. Lacrash, I started well back.  The race car was really charging.  I struggled a bit with the big motor cars and had some apologizing to do after the race, but for the most part the race car is really good in traffic and alone.  Can’t wait to get it dialed in even more.

THE WEEKS FAVORITE MOMENT:

Actually it was the Friday before.  I can’t describe to you all how cool it was to drive my race car.  The White Knightrous was not, “Jeff’s previously own by (Fred, Roger, or John).”  Nope, this car was built for Jeff.  It was just a great feeling knowing that a handful of men and ladies sacrificed so much time and energy to build something like this.  I am utterly convinced that if racing was easier we’d not have room enough in the pits for everybody that would do it.  Frankly, it’s probably the toughest “hobby/sport” you could ever set out to do because it’s impossible to do alone, and it’s impossible to do without the help and giving of a bunch of people.  So to all of you who neglected other things to give me that feeling, I am indebted to you.  You are incredible human beings, and I only hope to repay you in some small way, if by saying something of value to you in the future.  Thank YOU!

Finally,

We finished 5th.  Now I know for the most competitive out there that might not seem like a very good result.  However, if you look at my last two years racing, 5th is like winning!  The last two years I’ve been all but eliminated from the Championship on opening night, due to engine failures DNS, and crashing hard.  I’m not saying I wasn’t without incident last weekend, because there’s a lot of improving I need to do.  We’ve got work to do on the setup for the car.  We’ve also gotta tune the nut behind the wheel, but since my achilles heel is often opening night I was pretty tickled to be out of there with a 5th.  Now we can put our head down and get after the rest of the season.  Beginning this weekend with 75 laps on the 3/8′s.  Hope to see you all there.
Jeff Knight

The Final Race of 2012

Photo By Kyle Davis

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!