Faith on the Frontstretch: As NASCAR Changes, One Constant Remains

Texas Motor Speedway, Nov. 2013.
Credit: Debbie Ross for Skirts and Scuffs  
“ ... and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” Hebrews 12:1b

It seems like more things change than stay the same in NASCAR lately, with news trickling onto Facebook and Twitter feeds each week. Our sport has seen innovations at every level — from qualifying to the championship format to which networks will broadcast the races next season.

Next up may be a revamp of how we buy fan gear and souvenirs at future races.

We’ve all stood in line at a driver’s merchandise hauler to buy a t-shirt or hat. Part of the race day experience is strolling around the souvenir area, looking for your driver’s number and photo plastered on the side of a trailer.

Now NASCAR executives are exploring ways to create a different atmosphere for fans as they spend money on racing gear. Picture a scene with fewer trailers, if any, and tent stores where you can escape the sun and buy gear from a variety of drivers in one spot. It's just a discussion at this point, but may become the next change on tap for the sport.

Whether it’s NASCAR or regular life, stuff changes.

But many of us feel allergic to change, preferring that things stay comfortable and familiar. Sometimes we get in a rut, sitting in the same section of the grandstands, maybe even the same seats, or parking and tailgating in the same spot each year. Just like a holiday tradition, our NASCAR events are planned and predictable. And there’s nothing wrong with that!
ESPN's Dr. Jerry Punch will broadcast from Daytona for the
last time this weekend because NBC takes over in 2015.
Punch is shown speaking to Joe Gibbs at TMS in 2011.
Credit: Debbie Ross for Skirts and Scuffs

We control so little of anything in this big universe, even in our own lives. That’s hard to admit, especially for those of us who are type-A, go-getter folks who like to think we’re in charge of our own destinies. But despite our best efforts, there are myriad forces out there that maneuver the marionette strings of the business, economic and political world and cause shifts in how things work.

Sometimes change is overwhelming, especially when it pummels us unexpectedly or brings a batch of small stuff that stacks up. We miss the comfort of familiar faces, whether it’s favorite pit road reporters, friends and family members we don’t see as often or loved ones who have passed on.

It’s easy to become fearful when we see unwelcome changes in our world and in our country. The future appears uncertain for us, and especially for our children. Is there anywhere we can turn for reassurance?

Thankfully, there is. Despite any chaos humankind creates or whatever changes we experience, God is in charge. And He never, ever changes.

Like we say in the pledge of allegiance, we are “One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” God has a plan for our nation and for each of us, even when unforeseen changes make it seem otherwise.

As we celebrate Independence Day 2014 with fireworks, picnics and racing at Daytona, let’s honor not only our service men and women and our country, but the God who controls the destiny of people and nations. No matter what changes come, rest in the assurance our loving God is in control.

He rescues me unharmed from the battle waged against me, even though many oppose me. God, who is enthroned from of old, who does not change—he will hear them and humble them, because they have no fear of God. ~ Psalm 55:18-19

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

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.
Faith on the Frontstretch: As NASCAR Changes, One Constant Remains Faith on the Frontstretch: As NASCAR Changes, One Constant Remains Reviewed by Beth Reinke on Wednesday, July 02, 2014 Rating: 5