Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Faith on the Frontstretch: All-or-Nothing Mentality Earns Jamie McMurray the All-Star Race

Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images  
“ ... and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” Hebrews 12:1b

Jamie McMurray won his first Sprint All-Star Race last weekend and led a race-high 31 laps. Although no championship points came with the victory, he was willing to settle for the million dollar purse.

In fact, running for a prize without championship ramifications contributed to his mindset, which he called an “all-or-nothing” mentality. McMurray recounted the thoughts going through his mind during the laps of battling Carl Edwards for the win:

“I don't really care if we wreck, I don't care what happens, I'm racing for a million dollars. I get to start on the front row, and I'm going to make the very most out of the restart and everything that goes with this.”

McMurray was totally invested. He was focusing forward. He was all in.

Being all in doesn’t help if you’re running in the back, though. Track position is key.

As the All-Star Race was winding down, McMurray was struggling against another driver, but he managed to upgrade his position. When he stopped going door-to-door and got out front into clean air, he was in a better spot to win.

“The truth is — and it's this way in any kind of racing — when you get to the front, the cars drive so much better,” he said.

Another reason the No. 1 car was good was because of the guy on the pit box. McMurray said crew chief Keith Rodden is always thinking about what to do to improve the car, even when he should be sleeping.

“I talked to him (Rodden) on the phone a week or so ago,” McMurray said. “And he's like, ‘I woke up at 3:00 in the morning and I was thinking about this.’ And I was like, that is awesome that that's what's going through your head at 3:00 in the morning.

“Having confidence … in the guy that is ultimately responsible for your car, which has your name on it and is your life … that's huge.”

Each of us has opportunities in the race of life just like Jamie McMurray did in the All-Star Race. We have chances at victories in different aspects of our lives. Whether it’s finding a new job or mending a relationship, having an all-or-nothing mentality can help us.

What challenge are you facing? Try thinking about it in terms of these strategies, similar to what McMurray used to become an All-Star Champ.

First, be all in, with your heart and soul. Make the most of every restart, every new day.

Then, get yourself into a good position by looking forward and bypassing distractions. Get into clean air by focusing on what you need to do to overcome your hurdle and be successful.

All along the way, put your faith in the Guy who’s always thinking about ways to help you, even at 3 a.m.: God. Listen for His direction. Trust His guidance.

You only get one go-round in the race of life. Make yours an all-in, all-or-nothing, all-star event.

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. ~ 1 Corinthians 16:13 (NIV)

“Faith on the Frontstretch” appears every 1st & 3rd Wednesday and explores the role of faith in motorsports. Comments or twitter follows welcome: @bbreinke.

Want more racing devotions? When you donate $25 to Skirts and Scuffs, we’ll send you a complimentary copy of Beth’s book, Race Fans’ Devotions to Go, a month-long, pocket-sized devotional book for NASCAR fans. Or you can purchase the book in paperback & ebook here.


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