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IndyCar Ministry Gives Out “Johnny Rutherford” Award To Pit Crew Member

Almost time for racing at Indianapolis for the 500, and always time for praying.

Jason Holt used to be a race car driver ten years ago, and he had wanted to race in the Indy 500, so he has a heart for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) and for the people in the racing community.

“It has taken me time to get back into normal life after racing,” Holt said to me when I caught up to him this week.

“I grew up in Indiana, and I wanted to be a racer.  I had a radical encounter with Jesus, and that changed my trajectory from driving at Indy into being a pastor.  It is surreal here.  We do chapel services on Race Day for the drivers. We travel to every event, and our goal is to connect in relationships with guys and be the hands and feet of Jesus.  The people here need hope,” Holt told me.

Holt especially feels he has a mission to serve the men and women who make up the Pit Crews for the IndyCar racing teams.

Every year he rewards one member of the racing community with a ” JR Rising Star” award in the name of Johnny Rutherford, a three-time Indy 500 winner- who is a strong Christian presence in motorsports.

On Friday, after the 2022 Carb Day Pit Stop competition at the IMS, Holt went into overdrive to provide some inspiration for the men and women and their families of the Pit Crews- who work so hard perfecting the race cars we cheer on to the finish line.

Holt, along with the IndyCar Ministry, awarded one man, who had been elected by his peers, a $1000.00 check and a trophy, and his name on a permanent trophy that sets near JR’s car in the Museum.

Presentation of the Lone Star Award, in front of a garage that had been loaded with gifts and prizes from other organizations as thank you gifts for Pit Crew members :

Assembly in Gasoline Alley for the awards presentations:

The ministry car is an Indy Lights car adorn with the Bible Verse  Hebrews 12:1-2

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Holt praying with Nascar Champ and Indy 500 Rookie- Jimmie Johnson.

Fellow Chaplin with IndyCar Ministries prays with Grahm Rahal.

The ministry provided refreshments for the awards ceremony- which -this year- saw the most significant participation to date, according to Holt.

According to its website, IndyCar Ministries describes its mission as:

“The heartbeat of IndyCar Ministry is focused on one word, Relationships. We are dedicated to fostering relationships within the community of IndyCar, by serving those involved with the love of Christ. Whether that is through prayer, at track support, Winner’s Circle Groups, or counseling; we at IndyCar ministry strive to lead the community of IndyCar in their journey with Christ.”

Holt and his team of Chaplins have been praying with drivers for the month of May:

That is what Holt is walking out around the track before the 2022 Indy 500.

“I have a heart for these people, because I understand their difficulties, having seen the issues they have with this lifestyle.  Quite often they are taken away from their families for long periods of time, and I want to build a ministry that serves their families- when they are working on racecars.  Imagine if we had a support network to help assist the mom- who is home with young kids when the waterheater broke- or someone who could go over and mow their lawns when they are here at the track for days and nights on end. That is the type of ministry I would like to see,” Holt told me about his future goals for IndyCarMinistry.com.

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