Every racing fan knows that yesterday was the 50th running of the Daytona 500. Although I did not get to see the race live, I watched the race in its entirety on my DVR last night. Wow! What a spectacular pre-race extravaganza. The France family (owners of NASCAR) pulled out all the stops to kick off the season and celebrate the historic Daytona milestone.
The race itself was choked full of excitement. Young Kyle Bush, in his new No. 18, Joe Gibbs ride, was the guy to beat. He led 86 of the 200 laps and dominated most the race. In the end, he finished a respectable 4th, but was unable to complete the victory.
Ryan Newman, starting from the 7th position in his No. 12 Alltel Dodge, ran consistently throughout the day. At the end of the race, he positioned himself to have a shot at victory. With the help of his teammate, Kurt Bush, he ended his 81-race winless streak with a victory in the biggest race of the season. In the end it came down to consistency and help from teammate Kurt Bush.
Newman said, “Kurt was the push from heaven that made it all happen.” “Without a doubt, he could have easily gone three-wide and split us through the center and made one heck of a mess there. But he chose to be a teammate, and that was the most honorable thing that he could do.”
The Apostle Paul, with his execution imminent, wrote his young teammate Timothy with some final reflections. As he looked back over his life, Paul compared his life to a race:
“For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day–and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.” 2 Tim. 4:6-8 (NIV)
In How to Finish Well, Part 2, we will look at 5 keys to finishing well….