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Faith and the culture that is NASCAR

Faith and the culture that is NASCAR

Pastor Joe Nelms delivers prayer at Nascar Nationwide – Nashville, TN.


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Katie Sherrod

That “smokin hot wife” prayer line is from the movie “Talladega Nights.” I suspect most of the people listening to the prayer got the reference since they would have seen the movie.

Keith Nethery

First, I am a NASCAR fan and find great comfort after leading worship on Sunday morning, in sitting back and watching the boys “have at it” at 200 miles an hour. I do sit and have a debate with myself about the invocation on a weekly basis. As a former sportscaster, I can tell you there isn’t another major sport that would touch an opening prayer under any circumstance. So, the fact NASCAR recognizes the work of racetrack chaplains and the spiritual connection of many of the participants and fans – well – good on them. Then comes the theology of the invocation? Well, not so comfortable for me. I’ve often wondered, as a priest, what I would pray if asked to deliver the invocation. The only thing even remotely similar for me was being asked to deliver an invocation at a Community College Grad ceremony as the head of the local Ministerial. I can tell you, my words wouldn’t come as easy as most of the prayers one hears at NASCAR races, which tend to follow the praise God, thanks for our troops and ain’t the USA great theme. But when faced with saying something that would be true to my belief but also meaningful to those listening, well that is not an easy thing to create. Two final thoughts – first, is anybody else surprised that network television doesn’t take a commercial break during the invocation (I’m sure they get some heat about carrying it) and second, if you are a NASCAR regular, you can find some real tongue in cheek humour in what this pastor had to say (not sure he intended that way though.) Come Sunday, you’ll find me at prayer and then nestled in my recliner hollering, “let’s go racing boys!!”


“Best prayer EVER!”???

I trust that’s not the editorial position of Episcopal Cafe. O_o

JC Fisher

Gregory Orloff

Oy vey. “Christianity” as side show. “So long as you just mention Jesus, it all right to live as you would anyways. No need for metanoia or introspection here.”

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