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Summer Shootout Series

Charlotte Motor Speedway hosts ‘One Holy Night’

Charlotte Motor Speedway plans to promote “One Holy Night” on Tuesday as part of its annual Summer Shootout Legends and Bandolero racing series.

The event is basically church night, and it’s headlined by a “Faster Pastor” school-bus race featuring Charlotte-area preachers turning laps on the infield quarter-mile inside NASCAR’s home track in Concord, North Carolina. The name is a play on the “One Hot Night” NASCAR All-Star Race from the 1992 season.

Fitting for such an event, the track is admitting fans named “Matthew,” “Mark,” “Luke” or “John” for free. General admission tickets are $8 unless fans are named “Judas” or “Lucifer.” Their admission price has been inflated to $30.

Defending Faster Pastor champion Samuel Donahue of Hope City Church in Harrisburg, North Carolina, had the option of sending his own message to his competitors — but in a true preacher’s fashion, he let the Good Book do the pre-race talking.

“I guess I would say, ‘For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory,'” Donahue said, quoting Deuteronomy 20:4.

Among the pastors slated to face off in the school bus showdown are:

  • Jeff Bates – Elevation Church
  • Samuel Donahue – Hope City Church
  • David Henderson – Venture Church
  • Donnie Icenhour – Rocky River Church
  • Kris Mares – Mount Tabor United Methodist Church

Mares, a first-time contender for the championship belt and the wife of JR Motorsports mechanic Bill Mares, offered a different method of attack.

“As a pastor and ‘NASCAR wife,’ I’m excited to meld my two worlds into one night,” Mares said. “The lucky No. 7 Mount Tabor bus is ready to put on a show.”

Matt Weaver is the owner and founder of Short Track Scene. Weaver grew up in the sport, having raced himself before becoming a reporter in college at the University of South Alabama. He is also the associate motorsports editor of Autoweek Magazine and its website, which allows him to cover the highest levels of the sport.

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