SMH

By Rev. Don Rivers

I am known for reminding drivers, team members and people in general to honor God in the way we respond to the situations and consequences we are presented with. Maybe I say it too much and people tune me out. I say it because we all need reminding that when we respond in a way that is self-serving we dishonor God and those around us. I am left shaking my head. Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

The checkered flag dropped, the smoke cleared and a winner was determined but something was missing. You guessed it, the celebration was dampened because of the means used to gain victory. Don’t take my word for it. I didn’t come to that conclusion, the driver who won the race did.

Quoting from his statement to RacedayCT.com, “It’s hard to celebrate when you have to win it like that.”

I didn’t have the opportunity to talk with driver how so I am just going to leave the comment alone. It does however raise a bigger point. Is there a way we can win and not have to apologize for the way we did it? When we honor God in the way we handle ourselves.

I watched to laps unfold and listened to the comments at the conclusion. One stuck in my mind; “That’s one way to win a race.” The person who made the comment was absolutely right, that’s one way. There are many other ways to win also. The fact is when we take the high road it leaves a better taste in our mouths.

This is not a commentary on how the race was won but more a lesson about the ends don’t justify the means. Winning is good, done in a way that respects the other competitors it is worth celebrating. We talk about it so much it is in our tagline;

“Run the race in such a way as to win, through off everything that hinders and focus on Jesus.”

I know the reason we run the race is to win. I also know that it is difficult when victory is within reach to dial it back, you can reach out and taste it. We get blinders on and do whatever we think we need to do to secure victory. We all get caught up in the moment, do things that, when given time to reflect on, we may have chosen to do differently.

One of the observations that came to mind as I drove home from Riverhead was the idea of forgiveness vs permission. As I changed lanes to move around drivers I wondered out loud if they were even aware of their actions knowing full well they couldn’t hear me. They seemed to be driving on their own road with no one else in mind. They are just driving wherever they want, however they want and the world will just have to find a way around them. I am concerned that we are developing into a society of narcissists.

We have misconstrued what forgiveness is about. We have decided that we can pursue our own wants and desires without worry because when we are held accountable we can just ask for forgiveness. You know the saying, it is better to ask for forgiveness than permission. That is not the point, the consequences from our actions do not go away. We may be forgiven but we will still be in jail for life if we murder someone. We get shortsighted and don’t realize the burden selfish behavior comes with.

A couple passages come to mind;

Matthew 16:26; And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?

1Corinthians 10:23; You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for you. You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is beneficial.

We can rationalize anything but in the end we have to come to grips with the fact that the consequences of our choices are burdensome. God has a way for us to live that frees us from the burdens created by selfish decisions. He invites us to come to Him his burden is light.

John 10:10; The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.

I have seen the burden created by selfish choices become overwhelming. I have seen that weight crush people and lives. I remind so many about the opportunity we have to respond differently. Release that burden, seek out God and His restoration. He can and will come to each one who seeks Him out.

The road we are going down will rob us from the joy and celebration of our victories. We won’t realize it until it is over. Then it will be too late. We must seek Jesus while he can be found.

Isaiah 55:6-7; Seek the Lord while you can find him. Call on him now while he is near.

Let the wicked change their ways and banish the very thought of doing wrong.
Let them turn to the Lord that he may have mercy on them.

Yes, turn to our God, for he will forgive generously.

Until next time, remember God loves you and Jesus is Lord over Auto Racing! God Bless. Remember, that your prayerful support helps us continue this ministry. Thank You.

Keselowski Captures His Fourth Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Pole at “The Magic Mile”

Brad Keselowski will lead the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series field for the Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway this Sunday at 3:00 p.m.

LOUDON, N.H. – Brad Keselowski captured the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series pole award in Friday’s Cape Cod Café Pizza Pole Day at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, putting him in the lead position to start Sunday’s Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 at 3:00 p.m. This is Keselowski’s fourth career Cup Series pole award at Loudon.

“I always personally hesitate to undervalue qualifying,” said 35-year-old Keselowski. “With that in mind, there are some tracks that are less impactful to win the pole, but as you look to rank the tracks where qualifying well matters, this is certainly towards the top.”

The Busch brothers finished right behind Keselowski posting lap times of 27.942 seconds (Kyle) and 27.957 seconds (Kurt), but Keselowski reached 136.384 mph during his best lap, placing him 0.015 seconds faster than Kyle (27.927 seconds), which earned him his first 2019 pole.

Keselowski still holds on to the speedway’s record lap time for Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series qualifying, reaching a speed of 140.598 mph, which sent him around “The Magic Mile” in 27.090 seconds in 2014.

“I always feel like I’m 10% of the equation and I get 90% of the credit,” said Keselowski. “If you feel like you’re 10% of the equation, then what’s the other 90% of it? It’s the pit crew, it’s the engineering, it’s the mechanics that bolt the car together. All of those things have to come together on any given weekend to be successful.”

Keselowski will be at the front of the pack in Sunday’s Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 as all 37 drivers fight for that coveted spot in victory lane.

For ticket information for all 2019 events at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, including the July 19-21 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 race weekend and the September 20-21 Full Throttle Fall Weekend, visit the speedway website at NHMS.com or call Fan Relations at (603) 783-4931.

Photo Courtesy: NHMS/Harold Hinson Photography

Hudson’s Own Joey “Pole” goes to GSPSS Victory Lane At Hudson Speedway

 Home town hot shoe Joey Polewarcyk lead the majority of the 2019 Gate City Classic to take down the win. Cory Casagrande returned to the series and established the track record and the point leader continued his string of consistency in 2019.

   It was a picture perfect day for racing as the Granite State Pro Stock Series took to the family fun track for an awesome night of racing. Ben Bosowski and his team had the facility fixed up and ready to go with a brand new back stretch wall, new track lighting and a newly paved pit area. On track just before the feature Bosowski was thanked for his efforts and responded “I always love it when the Granite State Pro Stock series comes here. The racing is always great and the fans love it.” After a little prodding Bosowski added “I’d love to have the series here again this year… maybe we can make that happen”.

   The night kicked off with the Crazy Horse Racing race for the pole and It was Cory Casagrande establishing the track record with a time of 13.267 seconds. Being that electronic scoring was just added this spring there was no record to beat so Casagrande is the “Original” track record holder in the pro stock division. After time trials Casagrande was asked about the lap. “I didn’t think that was a pole lap” said the driver if the Chalew Performance number seven. “It felt good but not that good. Now we just need to stay up there all night long”.

   Heat races where up next and they became the Joey and Joey show. Heat one went to Joey Doiron in a battle that was hotly contested to the end, while Joey “Pole” won the second heat with relative ease.

   After the GSPSS redraw Joey Doiron would find himself on the pole with a shot at the NHSTRA back of the pack challenge. Doiron, Who had earned the extra $1000 for starting at the back at Claremont Motorsports Park earlier in the year, chose to keep his pole position. When asked about the decision during driver intros Doiron said “no way… not at this track. We’re going to stay right here”.

   As the 100 lap main event went green it was a tale of two races for the eventual race winner. The redraw saw Polewarcyk on the outside of row four with some work to do if he was to go three for three with the GSPSS. For the first forty laps the Hudson Hero slowly, methodically and patiently worked his way to the front, finally taking the lead on a restart and from there he would never look back. “Pole” never got to more than an eight or ten car length lead but also was never seriously challenged. “The car was really really good all day” said “Pole” in victory lane “My guys busted their butts all day to give me the feel I needed and it paid off.”

   Devin O’Connell fought hard for everything he got on the track but in the end the defending series champion could only muster enough for second. “I really wanted to go back to back” said the driver of the 43 car in victory lane. “It’s an honor to race against someone like Joey and second is nothing to be bummed about but I really wanted to beat him”.

   Joe Doiron fought hard to stay within sight of the leaders all day and when asked what he needed to beat them he said “my other car”. He went on to say “I didn’t expect such a clean race so I brought my older car and it just isn’t as good”.

   Jimmy Renfrew JR fought hard for a fourth place finish at one of his home race tracks while Mike O’Sullivan came back from missing a race due to a concussion to complete the top five.

   Cory Casagrande came back from an early pit stop to finish sixth ahead of Jacob Dore in seventh, Mike Mitchell in eighth, Todd Stone in ninth and Angelo Belsito who rounded out the top ten.

   Unfortunately due to circumstances beyond GSPSS control, the event scheduled for August third at The New London – Waterford Speedbowl has had to be removed from the schedule. The next event for the series will be the JBH 150 at Monadnock Speedway on Sat. Aug. 17th. This will be the first time the series has gone 150 laps at the high banked quarter mile bull ring and should be a wild affair that honors one of the series founders, John “Boy” Hoyt.

   For more information on the Granite State Pro Stock Series go to www.gspss.net of check them out on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Granite State Pro Stock Series contingency awards:

AR Bodies Hard Luck Award $100 : 93 Ray Christian

O’Reilly Auto Parts last car on the lead lap $75: 17 Kevin Folan

O’Reilly Auto Parts 7th place finisher $75: 05 Jacob Dore

American Racer N.E Hard Charger One free tire: 97 Joey Polewarczyk

Sunoco Heat Race Winners 5 Gallons fuel: #1 73Joey Doiron, #2 97 Joey Polewarczyk

VDL 5th Place $100: 08 Mike O’Sullivan

Crazy Horse Racing Fast Time$125: 7 Cory Casagrande, 2nd 27 Wayne Helliwell $75.00 3rd 73 Joey Doiron $50.00

Gate City Classic Official Finish

1- 97 Joey Polewarczyk

2- 43 Devin O’Connell

3- 73 Joey Doiron

4- Jimmy Renfrew JR

5- 08 Mike O’Sullivan

6- 7 Cory Casagrande

7- 05 Jacob Dore

8- 40 Mike Mitchell

9- 1x Todd Stone

10- 8 Angelo Belsito

11- 27 Wayne Helliwell

12- 16 Tommy Rosati

13- 12 Bobby Pelland

14- 17 Kevin Folan

15- 21 Josh King

16- 14 Matt Frahm

17- 93 Ray Christian III

Photo Credit Tom Morris

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