I had the opportunity to attend some races this past week that carry more meaning than “just another race”. We call them “Memorial Races”. These races help us remember competitors and others connected with our racing community. Who is on your mind today? Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
For racers numbers are as significant as words; #00, #1, #3, #7ny, #37, #61, #76 to mention a few. Many of our lives have been built around these numbers. There are many memories, stories, laughs, cries and encouragements that come to mind when we reflect on these numbers. They are milestones in our memories of those who hold a special place in our hearts.
Hebrews 12:1-2a;(NLT) Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.
Remembering the endurance of others helps us continue on against the obstacles we face every day. Those that are gone too soon do not leave us alone; they leave us with their example. They encourage us to continue on.
I remember being in Victory Lane for the Shane Hammond Memorial. Shane left us in the prime of his life, but he didn’t leave us alone. He left a deep impression on our hearts. His life, the difficulties he overcame, everything he endured just get into a racecar. I still can see the smile on his face. We joke about it often, but Shane was living the dream.
I shared Victory Lane with his mom that Saturday night. The joy on her face as she presented trophies to the winners in Shane’s honor. She truly was letting his memory supply the strength for her to carry on. She not only is living life, but she is using her life and effort to help others be safer as they race through the Shane Hammond Believe Foundation.
Sometimes I wonder how difficult it would be to carry on if one of my children died. I wonder where the strength would come from. I think of Shane’s mom, Deb Marvuglio, and I know I’ll have someone to emulate.
Deb took the time to pour out her heart, to share what is really going on behind her smile and effervescent personality. As I share this with you again reflect on the meaning of the numbers in our sport. What have they meant to you? How can a number mean so much? I could not find better words to convey their meaning.
“37, is it just a number?”
“The number 37, what does it mean to you? To me, it’s not just a Midget that was transformed over the years from black to white to yellow & blue. The 37 was a dream that became a reality for my son, Shane. A young man who had an infectious smile and bright blue eyes. Shane learned about risk and reward and much more by 15. An amazing karter whether it was dirt or asphalt, he had a handle on it.
Fast forward to 15, emergency brain and spine surgery where the risk is death and the reward life; but what kind of life was yet to be determined. Shane survived and with determination like no other. He fought through pain and the odds against him to get back to karting. When the pain became too much he looked for a car that offered more suspension and protection from the grueling jarring of karting. NEMA that was the ticket; that was the open wheel racing of choice.
Shane crewed with the Cabral’s and that magical day they let him take out their car at Waterford, he beamed as he climbed out. There was one person missing that day, his grandmother (his biggest fan, Betty).
We looked at each other and he said, “She’s here, she didn’t miss it”.
Those magic moments continue as his brother Anthony “the Bug” Marvuglio experienced that feeling at Waterford on more than one occasion. Bug has expressed, “Mom, he was in the car with me”, referring to Shane. Waterford is a magical place for me and my boys.
Back to the 37, not just a number, a tribute to Shane’s Grandfather, Jack Glockner a man that helped Shane live his dream every step of the way. Shane and Jack (Pa) worked side by side and Pa bought him that last 37 from Bob Bradbury another NEMA legend that was taken too soon.
So as you get ready for the Shane Hammond Memorial, please think about the risks, the rewards and the price; is it all worth it, are you making the right choices. Every race is a risk, life is a risk. Shane’s last race, in the Jarret #4, was a reward to him, he felt respected, excited, and worthy. He knew he could do whatever it takes. Sometimes our days don’t go as planned and that one day in April, God had other plans; He took Shane out of his painful body and gave him eternal life….. For whosoever believeth…..shall have eternal life. (John 3:15)”
Deb Marvuglio, Shane and Anthony’s mom, Shane Hammond Believe Foundation
Life holds deeper meanings for all of us. We think we have it all figured out. We think we know what tomorrow brings. We don’t. We do not control the hand of God. As we remember those who walk before us, who show us the right and wrong, who lead us through this life, remember there is a deeper meaning to all this.
Romans 10:10; (NLT); For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved.
We are looking forward to the season ahead, Please consider helping us make every effort to reach out. Until next time, remember God loves you and Jesus is Lord over Auto Racing! God Bless. Remember, that your prayerful support helps us continue this ministry. Thank You.