Finish Line Chaplain – The Right Armor – DTD Exclusive


It was good to be back at all my weekly tracks again since attending the last event at Weedsport over two weeks ago. A gut wrenching flu and rain kept me away a week ago. Friday Brewerton saw some droughts end and some new faces in victory lane. It won’t be long before one of the few small block teams that compete against the big blocks finally wins. Nick Krause led the way for most of the 35 lap feature at Brewerton. Tom Sears was able to find a little more on the bottom as Krause hammered the cushion every lap. Eventually Nick used up his right rear and faded to fourth, with Sears earning his first win of the year, in fact, his first since 2016.

If you read Bill Foley’s columns you’ve definitely heard about Dylan Zacharias and the adversities he’s faced in his health and on the track, battling serious illness and destroying his car at Weedsport earlier this year. He’s recovered physically, and brought out a brand new Troyer Chassis in the first Sportsman feature. The way he drove the new car was nothing less than sensational. He made winning look easy by opening up a straightaway lead and threading through lapped traffic without giving up any momentum along the way.

Jeff Taylor and Zach Sobotka put on a similar show in the second Sportsman feature with Sobotka railing the topside and Taylor using the bottom and the middle lap after lap, side by side, until Sobotka’s right rear succombed to the constant battle for the lead from the “high ground”. Sobotka faded to fourth just like Krause did. Jeff Taylor’s efforts earned him his first ever win at the D-Shaped Dirt Demon.

Quinn Wallace looked quite comfortable going for a win in the 4 cylinder class. Mod Lites were light in count due to a tour race elsewhere, but not light on action. Casey Sykes parked his Hedger Chassis retro “Dick Clark NY 16” Mod Lite in victory Lane before the dust began to settle over the Speedway for another week.

Saturday at Fulton fans were treated to Family Autograph Night, a pair of Late Model features, and a regular show to boot. Larry Wight started deep in the field of 358 Modifieds and mounted a march to the front. Dale Plank occupied the top spot for several laps until Wight caught him. Lightning Larry was able to chase down and pass Plank for another powerfully convincing victory. Plank was second, Tim Sears Jr. Was third with Nick Krause earning his second consecutive 4th place for the weekend.

Austin Germinio outran Zack Sobotka in the first feature for the Sportsman divison while Rapid Rick Miller had a season best third place finish in the Tenacious Sound 33x. The second Sportsman feature was one of the best races I’ve seen all year.

Matt Janczuk seemed to have a handle on the event until Brandon Ford worked His way into second place and mounted a charge. With a half lap to go Ford threw a slide job on Janczuk in turn three and gained the lead. Janczuk adjusted his line using the banking off turn four to dive to the inside of Ford and drag race him to the finish line. One hundredth of a second isn’t much to win or lose by, but it was enough for Janczuk to take the victor’s purse in an exciting finish.

Another side by side battle broke out in the last Feature of the night as Bret Belden and Kyle Sopaz battled door to door, lap for lap. Belden earned the advantage for the win. I say “earned” because he had to work extra hard for that win. Richard Murtaugh Jr. won the Novice Sportman feature.

Sunday the pits at Utica-Rome filled up with 360 Sprint cars and Sportman, plus 358 Modifieds and Pro Stocks. More than thirty sprints arrived from four or more states and Canada to compete for the coveted Cole Cup, and the purse structure that supports it. The new format of a 50-lap event divided into two segments with a 10 minute “do whatever you want” pit stop was a crowd pleaser. Fans got to see the crews working on the cars right on the front stretch during the ten minute break between race segments.

It appeared that Canadian Dylan Westbrook was on cruise control throughout the first half of the 50 lap A-main. When the green flew for the second half he was under the gun with Danny Varin and Chuck Hebing right there to harass him, competitively speaking.

Westbrook found one of the few remaining spots on the track that hadn’t slickened up on a restart, causing his car to wheelie off turn four onto the front stretch. The front end came down hard as he burped the throttle to settle the car and his handling went away. Based on my experience the front torsion bars were probably stressed enough when the front of the car came back down to throw the set up off.

As Westbrook faded to seventh place in the remaining laps Davie Franek worked his way to the lead and the win. Chuck Hebing finished second with Matt Tanner third. Larry Wight rallied from deep in the field to a solid fourth place finish. Shawn Donath rounded out the top five in the Donath Motor Worx sponsored event. That’s all I got to see Sunday because of the hour. I headed home for a nap before beginning another work week after the A-Main was over.

This evening in my personal memories on Facebook I came across an article the Lord wrote on my heart about a societal problem that breaks his heart. This problem is found in the mindsets of people in almost every walk of life. It has become the comfort to many who feel they’ve been wronged in some way, yet it is rooted in an eastern philosophy of pagan origin.

People call it karma, the pagan concept which (in Hinduism and Buddhism) says the sum of a person’s actions in this and previous states of existence, is viewed as deciding their fate in future existences.

The error in this belief is its denial of a loving God dispensing His grace toward anyone who comes to Him in faith. It also has unbiblical views of reincarnation.

“And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, Acts 17:26 NKJV”

God’s plan was rooted in His grace, or unmerited favor toward all humanity. It is He who decides when and where we’re born, how long we live, and when we return into His presence to face Him with the story of our life.

“Otherwise, he would have had to suffer many times since the world was created. But now, at the end of the ages, he has appeared once to remove sin by his sacrifice. People die once, and after that they are judged. Likewise, Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of humanity, and after that he will appear a second time. This time he will not deal with sin, but he will save those who eagerly wait for him.
Hebrews 9:26‭-‬28 GW”

Notice it says people die once, then we are judged. That refutes the pagan ideas of reincarnation based on the true definition of Karma.

God has a better plan. His ways are always higher than our ways. Solomon, King Davids heir to the throne, was given great wisdom by God to rule and to judge over His people. It was from the great wisdom of God that he wrote:

‘Do not say, “I will do to him as he has done to me; I will pay the man back for his deed.” PROVERBS 24:29 AMP’

Taking vengeance isn’t the plan of God for anyone. Solomon knew this and shared it for our benefit. Wanting someone else to receive “payback” is just an immature response of aggression rooted in the momentary panic, or the shock of having been helpless to prevent what happened to you by someone else.

‘Say to those with an anxious and panic-stricken heart, “Be strong, fear not! Indeed, your God will come with vengeance [for the ungodly]; The retribution of God will come, But He will save you.” ISAIAH 35:4 AMP’

God is the one who saves. God is our avenger. We only have to hold our peace, which is another way of saying hold our tongue from blabbing about how we were wronged and how anxious we are to have it righted at the expense of the offender.

“The Lord will fight for you while you [only need to] keep silent and remain calm.”

God is a loving Father that won’t allow anyone to mess with His children without coming to their aid. He always sees and has the answer. He always protects those who love Him. He always sets those who attack His children in their place. He is our vindication, and He is our avenger.

“For He [the Lord ] put on righteousness like a coat of armor, And salvation like a helmet on His head; He put on garments of vengeance for clothing And covered Himself with zeal [and great love for His people] as a cloak. ISAIAH 59:17 AMP”

There’s no one like our God, and He wears those things for His glory and our benefit. When you experience that “somebody done somebody wrong song” playing in your heart stop, seek His face where you can only experience His love and grace, and listen to the voice of Holy Spirit. He will remind you that Jesus said:

“Whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him [drop the issue, let it go], so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions and wrongdoings [against Him and others]. But love [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for] your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; for your reward will be great (rich, abundant), and you will be sons of the Most High; because He Himself is kind and gracious and good to the ungrateful and the wicked. Be merciful (responsive, compassionate, tender) just as your [heavenly] Father is merciful.
MARK 11:25; LUKE 6:35‭-‬36 AMP”

God would never require anything of us that wasn’t an attribute of His nature within us who believe. If He is good to the ungrateful and to the wicked we ought to be too. Our true calling is to love, regardless of our circumstances, regardless of how we get treated in return, or by those we don’t even know. We don’t have to avenge ourselves or wish evil intentions to come on someone because they did us wrong. We’re living in the economy of God’s grace. Shouldn’t we also love from the dispensation of the grace He shows us personally?

“Little children (believers, dear ones), let us not love [merely in theory] with word or with tongue [giving lip service to compassion], but in action and in truth [in practice and in sincerity, because practical acts of love are more than words]. By this we will know [without any doubt] that we are of the truth, and will assure our heart and quiet our conscience before Him. 1 JOHN 3:18‭-‬19 AMP”

Be sure to offer up prayers for Lavern LaFave. He was involved in a horrifying wreck at Oswego Speedway Saturday, finding himself engulfed in a gasoline fire. The Oswego Safety crew handled the situation quickly and professionally. Vern suffered burns to his hands and arms but is in good spirits as always. He is grateful he invested in the best safety equipment and raving apparel. So am I Vern, ans hope to see you soon. Until then we’re praying for divine healing and restoration.

I pray you have a fantastic productive and prosperous week. I’ll be at the make up “Show Down at Sundown” Dirtcar 358 Modifed series race Thursday night at Fulton, and back at Brewerton Friday. Don’t forget, Fulton is off Saturday in honor of those graduation from high school around the region. Utica Rome will be taking a day off for the big cars next Sunday to host an event at their Kartway.

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