Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Faith on the Frontstretch: Almirola’s Son Celebrates With Daddy in Victory Lane

Aric Almirola kneels with his checkered flag after winning the Xfinity race at Daytona, July 1, 2016.
Credit: Brian Lawdermilk / Getty Images.   
“ ... and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”   ~ Hebrews 12:1b

It was a father-and-son-moment times two in Victory Lane at Daytona last Friday night. As Aric Almirola celebrated his win in the Xfinity Series race, he thanked the “good Lord” — his Heavenly Father. Then Almirola’s little boy, Alex, joined his daddy beside the racecar during his TV interview.

“We won!” Almirola said, as he squatted down beside his son.

“Yeahhh!” said 3½-year-old Alex, giving his daddy a high five.

Almirola continued the interview, relaying a family moment from suppertime with Alex.

“He was pouting because we came inside from playing on the playground, and I told him that if he came in and ate his dinner... that Daddy was gonna go race in an Xfinity race, and we were gonna get a trophy tonight. And we got a trophy!” Almirola said.

Alex’s daddy told him he’d get a Daytona trophy, and he did just that. As risky as it was to make such a promise, the driver kept his word to his son.

God keeps His promises to His children, too. The Bible is full of things we can count on from our Father in heaven. He’s always with us. His Word is true. He’s merciful and just. And best of all, God loves us.

In Victory Lane, Almirola didn’t tell his son, “I won!” He said “we.” We won. Saying “we” brought Alex into the win. “We” signifies togetherness — a relationship. Good daddies want a relationship with their kids.

God is all about having a relationship with you, too. He wants a daily, intimate connection. Why? Because you’re His child.

There are people who don’t believe God exists, so having a relationship with Him seems like a moot point. Others know about their Father in heaven, but forget about Him most of the time. A few even try to escape by running far away, like Simba the lion cub did in the movie, The Lion King. You know the story, right?

Simba was the son of Mufasa, the late king. But for a while, Simba pretended not to know who he was. He traipsed around in the jungle, shirking his responsibilities and lollygagging with a couple of oddball characters. But one night he saw a vision of his father in the night sky. Mufasa challenged his son with a message: “Remember who you are.”

Simba did remember, and he reclaimed the mantle of royalty. He returned to his rightful place and claimed his inheritance as the offspring of the king.

You may not see a vision in the midnight clouds, but God is trying to get your attention, too.

“Remember who you are,” He whispers. If you’re a believer, you’re a child of the King.

Are you acting like royalty, spending time at the foot of your Father’s throne each day? If not, you still can. If you’re off on a “no worries” adventure like Simba, running from your true heritage, you can come back and claim it.

Today is a great day to reconnect with your heavenly Father. Then, if you want to celebrate the renewed relationship in your own symbolic Victory Lane, go for it. Yeahhh! High five!

And so we should not be like cringing, fearful slaves, but we should behave like God’s very own children, adopted into the bosom of his family, and calling to him, “Father, Father.” For his Holy Spirit speaks to us deep in our hearts and tells us that we really are God’s children.  ~ Romans 8:15-16 (NIV)


“Faith on the Frontstretch” explores the role of faith in motorsports and runs every 1st & 3rd Wednesday of the month during the NASCAR season. Follow Beth on twitter at @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.


  1. I saw that moment on tv last Friday night, but was disappointed that he (Eric) unfortunately didn't notice his little girl when she came up to him during the interview (he was distracted with a live tv interview, I'm not blaming him at all). I'm a father of a 2 year old little girl so I notice these things LOL

    1. You're right, it seemed like he didn't see her because of doing the interview. She hit his hand with hers, trying to do a high-five like her brother. I bet she was in the Victory Lane photos though. :o) Thanks for reading!

  2. Great job, as always, Beth!