Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Faith on the Frontstretch: Austin Dillon Feels Blessed to Compete in Chase Round of 12

Austin Dillon at Dover, Oct. 2016.
“ ... and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” ~ Hebrews 12:1b

The Chase for the Sprint Cup Round of 16 finished at Dover last weekend, with only a dozen teams moving forward as championship contenders. One bubble driver who made it to the next round was Austin Dillon. With an eighth-place finish at the Monster Mile, Dillon drove his way up in points and is seeded 12th going into Charlotte.

With every post-race question he answered at Dover, Dillon pointed to God. The driver of the No. 3 didn’t talk about good luck, bad juju or whether the imaginary “racing gods” were smiling on him. He knows a more powerful entity is in charge of his career and his life.

“First of all, I am going to say that I give all the glory to God,” Dillon said when asked if he’d saved his best for this cutoff race. “We have been working hard as a team, and I have been working hard as a driver to make myself better. This series is very tough, and I think the biggest thing was not giving up.”

Believing in God instead of luck can give us clarity even when things go wrong. The previous week at New Hampshire, Dillon wrecked in practice and drove his backup to a 16th-place finish. When asked about the Loudon race, Dillon said his team "just stayed focused.” Then he turned his response back to God’s hand in his day at Dover.

“And once again God has blessed us,” he said. “I am still awestruck because things like this just don’t happen. I am proud to be going on to the final 12 and having race cars that are capable of moving on. I have three really solid tracks coming up, and I am going to drive the wheels off of it and have fun.”

Faith is important to Dillon, so talking about God and thanking Him for blessings comes naturally. Dillon knows, though, that whether things are going well or not, God is always with him. And He’s with you, too – in both the good times and the bad moments.

God is there in the morning when you drip toothpaste down your new navy blue blouse. He’s smiling when you get a promotion at work. He’s even there when you come out of the store carrying tubs of ice cream for your kid’s birthday party, and your truck tire is flat.

Your Heavenly Father is like the frontstretch on a race track – the place where the race starts and finishes. He’s the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. He sees every part of your life, too, from the first minute to the last. He was cheering when you were born -- when your green flag waved, so to speak. And if you’re a believer, when you finish your final lap, He’ll be there to welcome you home to the eternal “Victory Lane."

Will you be celebrating in heaven someday? That decision is yours alone to make. If you thank Jesus for dying for your sins and accept Him into your heart as your Lord and Savior, you’ll spend eternity with Him – and all of his other faithful children – in heaven.

“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”     ~ Revelation 1:8
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“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.

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