2013 Grand Prix of St. Petersburg
To God be the Glory!
To examine the box score for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of St. Petersburg doesn’t color a successful picture of the opening round of the 2013 INDYCAR Series for Kingdom Racing. The numbers are right there in the open for all to see.
Simon Pagenaud completed only 26 laps and finished 24th while rookie Tristan Vautier came in 21st, completing 69 out of the event’s 110 laps, eventually won by first time winner James Hinchcliffe of rival Andretti Autosport.
The full box score can be seen here: http://www.indycar.com/~/media//Files/2013/IZOD-IndyCar-Series/01-STP/01-STP-BoxScore
It is said that numbers don’t lie, but they don’t tell the whole truth either. What those numbers above could never reveal is the successful weekend that Kingdom Racing delivered and experienced off the track.
Put simply, it was incredible.
The entire KR team has been working very hard in the off-season to prepare for 2013. Moreover, God has blessed us with some amazing gifts and talents also. It is without a doubt that Kingdom Racing is heading into the 2013 season stronger and more prepared than ever before.
or example, we weren’t merely focused on St. Petersburg alone last weekend. Alan Litvak and Bill Edwards remained home in Houston and represented Kingdom Racing at the annual Hot Wheels & BBQ event at Second Baptist Church, Houston.
Their presence was an incredibly successful blessing to a huge crowd of folks who came out to see some amazing cars on display and devour copious amounts of delicious home cooked barbecue.
During the event at Second Baptist, Bill and Alan were joined by Alan’s daughter, Courtney, who along with the elder statesmen of Kingdom Racing, interfaced with the crowd handing out a ton of our brand new 2013 KR Hero Cards, and generally got some new fans fired up about Kingdom Racing and our mission to reach 1,000,000 men for Jesus Christ. Most inspirational however, were the many stories of folks who came up to each of them and proclaimed how they were already aware of Kingdom Racing and prayed regularly for the team and our mission. What wonderful news it is to hear that! It certainly accounts for the many successes we’ve had over the last several months. Without God’s incredible blessings, none of this would be possible. That is an absolute.
Kudos go out to Bill, Alan, and Courtney for their valiant efforts at Second Baptist Houston to spread God’s Word and tell folks how KR is serving Him in the racing world.
Back in Florida, we dedicated and activated our new centerpiece, the official Kingdom Racing Hospitality Unit. During the off-season, God provided the funding and provisions for us to acquire what would truly become a House of God for our use while at the race track. This “HU” as we call it will be making appearances at many of the racing venues throughout the 2013 season and beyond.
Before we ever put the HU into service, it was imperative that we have an informal ceremony to officially commemorate the unit as a House of God and dedicate it to His service as long as it is in our care. David Storvick of the INDYCAR Ministry graciously conducted this dedication ceremony for us on Friday, March, 22nd by quoting from 1 Timothy 6:
“7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9 Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
11 But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 13 In the sight of God, who gives life to everything, and of Christ Jesus, who while testifying before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you 14 to keep this command without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 which God will bring about in his own time—God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16 who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever. Amen.
17 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19 In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.
20 Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge, 21 which some have professed and in so doing have departed from the faith.
Grace be with you all.”
The reading and the ceremony were absolutely perfect and poignant for the true purpose of the HU, denoting that it is a gift from God above, set aside for His use, and that we are entrusted as gracious stewards in its care and mission. David, thank you from all of us at Kingdom Racing!
Throughout the weekend at St. Petersburg, the HU was deployed and its doors opened for God’s Glory.
Throughout Saturday and Sunday, over 200 people enjoyed the comforts, shelter, and refreshments of the HU, provided by a spectacular staff assembled by Davey Hamilton and his team. They simply did an amazing job and deserve a round of applause.
However, the most important guests of all arrived on Sunday for race day. For the first time in 2013, we activated our Miles of Smiles ministry and hosted a young father named Clayton and his son Dylan as our VIP guests for the Grand Prix. Huge thanks must go out to Dave and Barbi of the Calvary Chapel in St. Petersburg for nominating and accompanying Clayton and Dylan to the event. They helped make the event such a success.
Something that is always so striking is the disparate looks on the Miles of Smiles guest’s faces before and after the event. There really is a discernible difference and they always leave in such high spirits with massive smiles on their faces. It’s not that they show up sad or anything, but by the time they left, it is undeniably apparent that they have been touched by the Holy Spirit. Internally, we’ve debated whether the name ‘Miles of Smiles’ is the correct one we should be using for the ministry program. Seeing the results, the name is absolutely perfect and should never change. Through God’s Grace, Kingdom Racing had a definite and direct impact on this young father and his son and it is going to be amazing to see where our relationship will take us next. Miles of Smiles weekends are not temporary. Rather, they mark the beginning of a wonderful relationship with some amazing people that God sends before us. That alone is very humbling and precious. It is always hard to say goodbye once the race is over, but we know that there is more to come in our conversation. That delivers hope to each of us.
As we wrapped up the weekend in St. Pete, the entire team sprung into action to help tear down and pack up the HU right alongside the staff. We came to be servants and stewards, and through our collective efforts, that was deeply evident. We walked away in sheer amazement of what God has put before us again in the INDYCAR Series. It is incredible to see how this team has grown, evolved, coalesced, and become a very close family serving as the hands and feet of Christ over the past year. From where we were at the beginning of 2012 until now, it literally is awe inspiring for each and every one of us. To look back at the very beginning of Kingdom Racing leaves us all dumbfounded. God has been so great to His mission.
All for Him, we are… KR!