As a nod to the Faster Pastor school bus slobberknocker among area clergy during Tuesday’s North Carolina Virtual Academy-sponsored Bojangles’ Summer Shootout at Charlotte Motor Speedway, race fans get in FREE if they're named "Matthew," "Mark," "Luke" or "John."
Fans with proper identification and one of the four "chosen" names will be let into the speedway's sacred-but-not-pearly gates to see local pastors compete in 10-ton school buses, deciding the Prince (or Princess) of the Pavement Pulpit.
If fans are named "Judas" or "Lucifer," admission is $30.
Defending Faster Pastor champion Samuel Donahue of Hope City Church in Harrisburg 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 in 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.”
The future stars of motorsports continue their rise up the racing ladder all summer, with the Bojangles’ Summer Shootout – which features NASCAR stars Joey Logano, Austin Dillon and Bubba Wallace among its alumni – running through Aug. 1.
Gates open at 5 p.m. Tuesday with racing beginning at approximately 7 p.m.
Single-day admission to the Bojangles’ Summer Shootout costs just $8 for adults and is FREE for children under 13. Tickets can be purchased online or by calling 1-800-455-FANS (3267)