The Kentucky Derby and NASCAR

As I sit in my local breakfast shoppe, I listen to the long term locals talking about the Kentucky Derby. Now this doesn’t strike me too odd, there are people around here that raise horses. But this is not the normal crowd I would think to be concerned with horse races, best hats at the Derby, or the names of the mini-me jockeys on the back of a million dollar thoroughbred. Today, their comments weren’t so much of accolades as they were comparison.

The 2019 Kentucky Derby was a memorial one. Most know that the horse that crossed the finish line before all other horses was shortly disqualified after the race due to interference. It seems he shifted lanes near the end to block the horse behind him … which is a no-no. The foal had a foul. (Sorry, dad joke). After the favored horse was stricken prior to the race due to health/breathing issues, this race was quite unique in Derby Lore. The next horse in line was declared the winner.

On a personal note, a horse named after a prison wing (Maximum Security) might just try to break the rules … prison changes you.

But this morning, the crew hanging at Granny Bee’s were questioning if they would ever make this rule effective for NASCAR. In stock car racing, it is the norm for cutting off, tapping, blocking, exchanging car paint, and more. That is in the playbook of track strategy. They concluded that if the no blocking rule, no cutting off rule ever became a reality in NASCAR, then you might as well stop racing cars all together.

I look at this discussion as a comparison to how we go through this life. Some of us desire to live the fast paced, yet short run race as that at Churchill Downs. Lots of fanfare in our life, we are concerned about how we look, and about with whom we hang out.

Others are more NASCAR … fast paced yes, but lots of repetitive loops in life (we get up, we go to work, we come home, we sleep, all to do it again tomorrow). And in the long race of life, we take short pit stops (trips to Orlando, hike a mountain, etc) and we watch out for things breaking or wearing out. And though the race may last a real long time … it’s the crashes and spin-outs that make the highlight reel.

Here is my challenge, and it is from Hebrews 12 …

  • Life is a race that is set before us
    We are not alone, there are plenty of those who have done it before us, so we will get through it
    We are not alone, there are people cheering us on
    We are to put aside things that hold us back from running our race the best possible way – get rid of the bad and even the good, if it keeps us from the best
    Don’t give up, the point of our race is not to be the first to cross the finish line, but to run it in a way that honors our God
    And most important … keep your eyes on Jesus — because Jesus started the work in us and He will complete it in us as well

So, whether your life is a Churchill Downs or Bristol Motor Speedway, lets run our race with everything we have.






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