The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Gentlemen, start your prayers!

Illustration by Michael D. WatsonNASCAR officials made rule changes to attract fans, but one thing stays the same: Before you hear, “Gentlemen, start your engines” an invocation is said. ABC News suggests that with NASCAR’s roots in the Bible Belt, it’s probably the most openly religious of sports (and with cars racing over 150 m.p.h., who can blame a driver for saying a prayer?). As examples, ABC notes racers who actively promote their faith and Motor Racing Outreach, a ministry for drivers, crews and their families. The outreach provides prerace prayer services—attended by such high-profile drivers as Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson, worship services, a mobile Sunday school and counseling. What’s next? Jesus’ name on the hood? Well ... yes, if driver Morgan Shepherd makes the field with his “Victory in Jesus” car. But you may not see Jesus rolling out of pit row often. Lacking sponsors, Shepherd is “passing the helmet” among fans, asking for donations on his Web site.


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