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Tag: Dirt Track Racing

Short Stories: Sunday Night Communion and STARS Dirt Track Racing

bob hartman midway speedway
Butch Hartman

In the late 1980s, I planned to take Polly and our four children at the time to a dirt track race at Midway Speedway in Crooksville, Ohio. The STARS (Short Track Auto Racing Series) were making a Saturday night appearance at the track — a one hundred-lap event. Scores of big-name racers planned to be at this event. On the scheduled night it rained, forcing the track to move to Sunday.

At the time, I was pastoring Somerset Baptist Church in Mt. Perry, Ohio. We had two services on Sunday: 11:00 am and 7:00 pm. I was facing a dilemma. I had tickets for the race, but I had to be present and accounted for Sunday night at the church. I couldn’t tell the church that I couldn’t be there because I had tickets to a “worldly” racing event. Doing so would have been considered a sin. Yet, I really, really, really wanted to go to the race. My two oldest sons really wanted to go to the race. All our dirt track racing heroes would be there. And a hundred laps? Wow, most late model races were 25-50 laps.

scott peltz midway speedway
Scott Peltz

So, I went to the Lord in prayer, seeking his guidance and wisdom. Just kidding. I concocted a plan to hold a “special” communion service at 5:00 pm, one that would be finished in less than an hour. And it was. My family and I quickly said our goodbyes and out the door we went. I am sure some members wondered why we were in a hurry.

The race was everything I thought it would be. On our way home, the guilt set in. Instead of taking the night off or telling congregants why I couldn’t be there, I manipulated them so I could do what I wanted. The good news? I prayed for forgiveness, and Jesus magically forgave me. 🙂

Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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An Old Man and Two Young Women

limaland motorsports park
Wrecked Sprint Car 2012

A summer or so ago, my oldest son and I went to LimaLand Motorsports Park in Lima Ohio to watch a dirt track race. LimaLand is a 1/4 mile dirt track owned by the University of Northwestern Ohio. Their regular program features 360 Sprints, Modifieds, and Thunder Stocks.

During the heat races I got up to walk a bit and buy some health food. I walked up to one of the food vendors and told the two young women working there that I would like a Snickers bar. Here’s what transpired next:

One girl: I am sorry I can’t wait on you.

Bruce: Why not?

One girl: It’s the hat you are wearing. (A Cincinnati Bengals hat)

Bruce: My hat? What are you a Cleveland Browns fan?

One girl: How dare you insult me. I am a Pittsburgh Steelers fan.

Bruce: Well….What’s your favorite baseball team?

One girl: The Reds.

Bruce: Well that’s good.

One girl: (pointing to other girl) She’s from Michigan.

Bruce: I rescued my wife from Michigan. She is from Bay City. Where are you from?

Other girl: Sterling Heights.

Bruce: I see. I went to college in Pontiac.

Other girl: Oh that’s a bad place.

Bruce: Yes it is, but I went to college there probably before you were born.

One girl: Are you saying we are not very old?

Bruce: Yes.

This was a 90 second conversation of fun bantering back and forth.

The old man could think……”hey these young girls are hitting on me.” But then the old man comes out of his delusional state and thinks, “I probably remind them of their dad or grandfather.”

Typical Midwestern “shooting the breeze.” All in good fun.

Bruce Gerencser