Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Faith on the Frontstretch: From Victory Lane to “Lawn Service”

 NASCAR folks team up with Samaritan's Purse
to clean up tornado damage in Texas.
All photos courtesy of Samaritan's Purse.
“...and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” Hebrews 12:1b

When Nick Terry’s neighborhood was hit by a tornado last year, he watched people drive through to witness the damage, but not stop to help. So when he found out tornadoes hit close to Texas Motor Speedway, the Motor Racing Outreach chaplain felt God calling him to lend a hand.

“My heart broke for those people who had damage from the tornadoes,” he said. “So it was a great place to serve.”

MRO chaplain, Nick Terry
Terry gathered a few MRO staffers and a variety of racing folks including a car chief, engineer, mechanic, hauler driver, media people, pit crew members and racecar drivers. His team of 20 volunteers joined the clean-up effort organized by Samaritan’s Purse. The group spent the morning sawing up overturned trees and removing branches, fencing and other debris from several yards.

One homeowner asked where the volunteers were from and was amazed to find out it was NASCAR guys working in his yard. The man said he had watched the Friday night Nationwide race on television and told chaplain Terry, “Last night, that Ricky Stenhouse did an awesome job!”

Terry motioned toward Stenhouse Jr. a short distance away and told the man, “He’s standing right there. He’s right there in your yard cleaning up!”

From victory lane to lawn care - Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was
lending a hand in the clean up efforts.
Can you imagine watching a champion celebrate in Victory Lane one night, and then find him doing “lawn service” for you the next morning? That’s the kind of thing you never forget. And it happened to one race fan because a group of guys shared the love of Jesus by helping tornado victims.

Who were those young men? Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Trevor Bayne, Blake Koch, Michael McDowell, Josh Wise and a host of others; all with hearts dedicated to serving.

What motivates busy, famous guys to do lawn service, selflessly donating their time to clean up a storm-ravaged neighborhood?

“It is just the love of God. That’s what they’re all about,” Terry said, and he knows them well. He leads the group of young drivers in a Bible study on the morning of the Nationwide race each week. “The Bible says Jesus came to serve, not to be served. It models the life of Christ when we can serve like that.”
Michael McDowell

Terry said one older gentleman was deeply touched and just couldn’t believe NASCAR drivers took time to help him.

“We told him, ‘We just want to share the same love that God has shared with us, with you.'"

Before the day was over, volunteers prayed with this homeowner and he accepted Jesus into his heart. It’s a poignant reminder to us all that nothing we do for another person is in vain. An act of service can end up affecting someone’s life for eternity.

Like Terry and his driver buddies, you and I can share the love of Jesus by reaching out to others, using whatever talents or simple skills we already possess. Because where the rubber meets the road, serving and loving is what life is truly about.
Trevor Bayne
Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. ~ 1 Peter 4:10

Many thanks to Samaritan’s Purse for sharing Karina Petersen’s photos with Skirts and Scuffs. For driver comments and more photos, check out the article on the Samaritan’s Purse website.

Want more racing devotions? When you donate $25 or more to Skirts and Scuffs, we’ll send you a complimentary copy of Beth’s book, Race Fans’Devotions to Go. See you on the frontstretch!

Beth Bence Reinke is the author of Race Fans’ Devotions to Go, a month-long, pocket-sized devotional book for female racing fans. “Faith on the Frontstretch” appears every 1st & 3rd Wednesday and explores the role of faith in motorsports. Beth also writes “Gibbs Garage,” Sprint Cup race recaps for Joe Gibbs Racing teams. Comments or twitter follows welcome: @bbreinke.


  1. We had such a great day serving out there in Arlington! And the home-owner, 82 year-old Jay Vaughn, prayed to receive Christ before we left for the day ;) God is good! ~peace, ra / Twitter @richardandrew

  2. No matter what these drivers do in the rest of their career, they've already found victory lane in life.

    Thanks for telling their story, Beth. You did a wonderful job.

  3. This is why I am always proud to say that I am a NASCAR fan!

  4. Such an inspiration to see these guys from multiple areas within the NASCAR community share the love they have!!! #LUI #FullHearts. Thanks for sharing their story.

  5. Proud to be a Nascar Fan and a wife of a Penske Racing employee..

  6. So touching that you all signed a Bible for your new brother in Christ, Richard. Thank you for being part of this story. ";o)

  7. Thanks for sharing this, Beth. Great group. You named the drivers, do you have the names of the rest of the folks, too? They each deserve our thanks, too.

  8. I know some names, but not all. There were folks from NASCAR, MRO, Samaritan's Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelical Association. God knows each one though, and that's most important. ";o)

  9. It's nice to see these guys taking time from their schedules to help out in the community. It's good for the owners of the house too. From the looks of it, that lawn could've used all the help it could get.

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  10. A great-looking lawn can certainly make the house - and lot itself - look that much better. It can sometimes get out of hand though. However, if you have these guys helping, then that's definitely no problem.

  11. Helping the community by planting trees is great since it can really help the future inhabitants of Earth.

  12. Some of the carports in our neighborhood were destroyed when this tornado hit. Gladly, no one was hurt when debris flew everywhere.

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